Diva down! Iconic East London queer venue The Glory is closing

Founded by drag queens Jonny Woo and John Sizzle with their business partner Colin Rothbart back in 2014, pint-sized Kingsland Road pub The Glory is a jewel in the fabulous crown of east London’s ever-dwindling queer scene, beloved by all who pass through its unassuming blue doors. 

Head down to the Haggerston venue on an average evening and you’ll find scene veterans like Princess Julia and Jeffrey Hinton on the decks, east London’s most out-there drag artists performing surreal cabaret on the tiny gold stage and a raucous crowd of spectacularly well-heeled creative types cackling in the smoking area.

At least until the end of January, when the legendary venue will cease trading at its current location, as announced this afternoon.

‘It’s with much sadness that we shall be closing the doors of The Glory, as we know it, on 31st January 2024,’ its owners announced in a statement released on the venue’s Instagram page. ‘For us all, the staff, performers, DJs AND our much-valued customers, we know this is upsetting, but we have decided to relocate as our building is finally being redeveloped and we simply can’t cannot continue to operate as we’d like.’

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To anyone who has spent more than five minutes on London’s queer scene, news of another LGBTQ venue’s closure probably won’t come as a huge surprise. While the number of queer venues in the capital has remained fairly stable in recent years, The Glory’s statement comes just days after G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph announced the closure of G-A-Y Late, saying that attempting to keep the late-night Soho venue open was a ‘losing battle’. 

But it’s not all bad news for The Glory’s many devotees. Its owners also shared that plans are underway to open a new venue in its place. ‘We have the keys to a new space close by and this brand-new venture will open before spring,’ they shared. 

Here’s hoping that The Glory 2.0 lives up to its iconic predecessor. 
In the meantime, patrons of the beloved little blue-hued boozer still have two months in which to catch a drag show, sink some pints and throw some shapes on its diminutive dance floor. 

Check out our recent chat with Jonny Woo, John Sizzle and more iconic London landladies

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