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Iconic Chelsea gay pub set to close after lease dispute

By Oli Gross , 22-Aug-2016
Last updated on 22-Aug-2016 at 11:23 GMT2016-08-22T11:23:16Z

Iconic Chelsea gay pub set to close after lease dispute

One of London’s longest-serving gay pubs is to close its doors after its owners failed to come to a new agreement with the venue’s landlord.

The Queens Head in Chelsea has served the LGBT community for more than 60 years, but the pub’s lease is set to expire on 13 September.

Pubco Stonegate has said in a statement it wished to relocate staff to another pub in the business after the site’s lease ran out, and the future of the pub is ‘at the landlord’s discretion’.

But the licensee and community are mourning the loss of the iconic venue.

Shutting up shop

The Queens Head confirmed on Facebook : “Unfortunately it's true, the Old Lady of Tryon Street will be closing her doors for the last time on 6 September.

“We’ve been unable to come to reasonable terms for renewal of the lease on the building with our landlords and, therefore, we’ll be shutting up shop.

“The Queens Head will be back in some form or another, but the place that we all know and love will cease to be.”

Wreaths

Devastated customers began bringing wreaths to the pub to mark the loss of the beloved building, but the licensee is more concerned about the future of the pub as it holds the venue’s final parties.

“Please, please, please don't bring flowers and wreaths! We're already sad enough here without the place looking like a bloody funeral parlour,” the pub posted.

“And we'll have to clean the whole lot up as well. Why don't you give the money you'd have spent on the wreaths to the staff as a token of your appreciation? God knows, we're gonna need it!”

The Queens Head is hosting a farewell party on 3 September.

Thank you

Staff continued: “To everyone who's performed here over the years, a huge "thank you" from the Old Lady of Tryon Street for all the fun and frolics and as Dame Vera Lynn sings, "we'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day.

“Freddy, Hadi, Michael, Suzana, Bob, Amine, Sylvia, Hazel, Carol, Frankie and Alex would like to thank all of our wonderful friends and customers for your support over all the years and hope that you'll join us on Saturday 3 September to give the old girl a send off to make her proud.

“We're bloody gutted as well by the way.”

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