G-A-Y is closing its iconic club for good next month

Whether you’re after great theatre, great restaurants, great bars or a great night out, Soho is the go-to place for many Londoners on the hunt for a good time. It’s jam-packed full of historic venues, but one of the most iconic in the neighbourhood is about to close for good. 

Jeremy Joseph, owner of iconic LGBTQ London venues Heaven and G-A-Y Bar, announced the planned closure of his third location, G-A-Y Late, on social media over the weekend. 

The post, in which Joseph made the announcement ‘with great sadness’, came as a shock to many Londoners. 

The gay bar is located on Goslett Yard, right at the heart of Soho, and has been a legendary part of the neighbourhood’s LGBTQ scene, but in his post, Joseph said that keeping the place open was a ‘losing battle’.

He explains that ‘the last few years have been extremely difficult’ and the club was struggling due to several external pressures. Building works in the St Giles and Denmark Street area have surrounded the venue and made keeping it open an ‘impossibility’. 

Goslett Yard is increasingly being used for parking, which has impacted accessibility to the venue, often blocking the entrance, queue and fire exits. What’s more, apparently there are also major safety concerns for the wellbeing of customers and staff, which both are to blame for G-A-Y Late’s closure. 

Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill said that the closure was a ‘profound loss for the LGBTQ community in the capital, as the venue has been a cherished place for years.’

According to NME, a recent study showed 35 independent nightlife venues are lost each week. And sadly, it’s not just clubs that are suffering – by the end of the first half of 2024, 750 British pubs might have closed

But there is light at the end of the dazzling, disco-ball filled tunnel. Thankfully, no staff from G-A-Y Late have lost their jobs, as all will be able to continue working either at G-A-Y Bar or Heaven. And excitingly, G-A-Y Bar will now stay open later, until 1am, and Heaven will have increased capacity and wheelchair access. 

Fancy saying a late-night goodbye to G-A-Y Late one last time? It will be permanently closing its doors on Sunday December 10

Time Out’s take

While it’s great to hear that no jobs have been lost, the closure of G-A-Y Late is a sign of the tough times that the hospitality and nightlife industry is facing. And London seems to be especially struggling, given that the capital is losing pubs faster than anywhere else in England. Times are certainly tough, but independent nightlife venues need our help more than ever. 

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