Stonegate buys beloved gay venue

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Reopening soon: Kiki on Canal Street, Manchester will be kept as an LGBTQ+ site by Stonegate (image: Gerald England, Geograph)
Reopening soon: Kiki on Canal Street, Manchester will be kept as an LGBTQ+ site by Stonegate (image: Gerald England, Geograph)

Related tags: Manchester

Stonegate has acquired a beloved LGBTQ+ venue on Manchester’s famous Canal Street that it plans to reopen next month.

Nightclub and bar Kiki Manchester announced it was closing before a final weekend of trading last week (18 January 2020). 

The venue hosted an underground house club called Void, during the week, which has also shut. 

Under new ownership, the space will be known as The Brewers and operate as one of Stonegate’s LGBTQ+ sites within its Venues division.

Stonegate confirmed the venue is currently set to reopen in mid-February and the on-site team will transfer into the new set-up. The venue will have two rooms when reopened. 

Not easy

The news was announced on the venue’s Facebook page​, with the current management team sharing its sadness about the sale and wishing the best to the new operator.

A statement read: “This post is not an easy one to write, however, it is with a heavy heart that Kiki and Void will be closing its doors for the last time at the end of trade this Sunday. We have sold to Stonegate and wish them the best with the venue.

“It has been an amazing and exciting six years of becoming established on this little old street we call home.”

The post reflected on some of the famous faces the venue had welcomed over the years.

It continued: “We have seen many faces, held some of those most exciting events (the less said on Gemma Collins the better). We accidentally split up Atomic Kitten by getting Kerry drunk. And have introduced and helped kick start so many drag queens on to the scene we have lost count.”

Felt free

Around 2,000 comments were left on the post announcing the closure, with many people describing themselves as “brokenhearted” at the news.

One person commented: “What a shame, met 90% of my current friends in here, used to call it home. Literally, spending five days a week in here, becoming the biggest regular back in 2017-18 then getting barred for drinking too much Tequila. Even though I had a love-hate relationship, the bar will be missed a lot. R.I.P.”

Another wrote: “This was the first gay bar/club I'd ever been to after coming out and it’s literally the only place I’ve ever been to that I've truly felt comfortable, welcome, free and not judged. 

“All of the above was more than enough to keep me going back for more but then the closing at 10am! 

“Well it was just amazing, never been to or seen another place like it.”

Related topics: Other operators

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