‘Iconic’ LGBTQ+ venue to shut

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

City centre venue: G-A-Y Late is set to shut next month (image: Getty/MicroStockHub)
City centre venue: G-A-Y Late is set to shut next month (image: Getty/MicroStockHub)

Related tags Property Health and safety London

Owner of G-A-Y Late Jeremy Joseph has announced the closure of the Soho venue, citing a number of external pressures as the reasons why.

The venue will shut its doors for the final time on Sunday 10 December, Joseph revealed on social media.

He said he knew the announcement would “come as a shock to a lot of people and many loyal customers will feel saddened by this news”.

Furthermore, he outlined a number of reasons behind the closure including nearby building works and safety issues.

Great cost

The statement added: “I have done everything I can to try and fight on and keep G-A-Y Late going, at a great cost to my own mental health, but it is simply not possible to run G-A-Y Late in its current location and it’s starting to take too much of a toll on me personally.

“It’s not all negative though, G-A-Y Late is not going to be forgotten. Firstly, no staff will be affected by the closure and they will all be deployed to G-A-Y Bar & Heaven so all jobs are safe.

“For those who loved G-A-Y Late, my goal is to recreate an updated version of G-A-Y Late in Heaven’s DP & Stage Bar and to have more nights at Heaven, starting with a new LGBT RnB night on Wednesdays.

“The biggest positives are we have put in an application to increase Heaven’s capacity and found a way to make Heaven wheelchair accessible.

“Some of you might have noticed I’ve knocked down a wall at Heaven to prepare for this increase in capacity and to create wheelchair access. I can confirm the WCC has approved our application so while we are losing a venue, Heaven now has increased capacity and works will begin to make it wheelchair accessible.”

Profound loss

Night-Time Industries Association​ boss Michael Kill expressed deep sadness over the impact the announcement will have on the LGBTQ+ community and said the closure underscored the fragility of nightlife businesses while labelling it a ‘profound loss’.

He added that as the loss of G-A-Y Late is mourned, it was a call to action for policymakers, communities and industry stakeholders to collaborate on initiatives that safeguard the future of nightlife establishments.

Kill called for a united front to address the challenges faced by businesses in the sector and emphasised the integral role they play in the cultural fabric of the UK.

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