G-A-Y could be facing closure, claims its owner.
Jeremy Joseph has revealed that G-A-Y Late is currently under rent review, and that the owner of the building is demanding a dramatic increase in rent.
While the venue currently pays £300,000 a year, the manager of the property is now trying to force Joseph to pay up to £700,000 a year instead, an increase of a whopping £400,000.
“Rent is just ridiculous. G-A-Y Late, one of our venues, is up for rent review at the moment. We currently pay up to £300,000 rent a year. The landlord is trying to get it up to £700,000, so we’re in a rent review, explained Joseph during an appearance on Vanessa Feltz’s radio show.
“It’s taken six months for us to get to a point of arbitration, and I only found out a couple of weeks ago that the arbitrator will now decide how much we have to pay. Once they decide how much, there will be no appeal whatsoever.
“Whatever that rent is – and it could be double – we have no say in it,” he added.
Jospeh went on to insist that the venue could face closure if the rent increases that much, saying that the beloved club is “very much under threat”.
Other venues to close for good in the last few years alone include The Black Cap in Camden, The Joiner’s Arms in Hackney, Vauxhall’s Barcode, The George and Dragon in Shoredtich, and Soho hotspots Shadow Lounge, Manbar, Madame Jojo’s and The Green Carnation.
Last November, London Mayor Sadiq Khan appointed queer activist and performer Amy Lamé as night czar fopr the capital, with many people hoping that her influence will help to slow the decline of the city’s LGBT+ scene.
It’s not all bad news though, this month has also seen the opening of a brand new LGBT venue south of the river in Vauxhall