London's iconic drag venue The Black Cap abruptly shut its doors for the last time over the weekend.
The legendary Camden club, which was regularly host to stars of US series RuPauls Drag Race
, has been closed by its owners, Faucett Inn, ahead of possible redevelopment plans, reports This Is Cabaret
The closure follows a long battle to save the venue, which saw Camden Council approve plans to redevelop the first, second and third floor of the building into residential flats. After an outcry from LGBT groups, the plans were later rejected in their current form.
Last Wednesday, the venue was granted Asset of Community Value (ACV) status following an application by the Director of Camden LGBT forum, Nigel Harris.
“It ensures our local residents have a safe space to go and meet other LGBT people," said Harris. "Because it holds great memories for our older members who have been visiting for decades. Because it provides a space for LGBT groups and outreach. Because it puts Camden on the map with its grand history of top talent and support for equal rights.”
Despite this, following a series of closures of some of London's most beloved gay venues over the past year, Faucett Inn chose to close down the club without warning over the weekend (April 12). While the club's Facebook page is still in operation
- with no word of the closure - its Twitter
UPDATE: In a statement published on So So Gay this afternoon
, owners Faucet Inn Limited explained the sudden closure and thanked patrons for their support:
"Faucet Inn Limited regrets to announce that it is no longer able to operate The Black Cap in Camden, London; a site it has operated on behalf of the freeholder for the last five years.
The building which was exchanged by the freeholder in December last year will complete imminently which has meant the site has had to be closed as of today. The building had been the subject of a planning permission application request to convert the upper floors which was subsequently rejected by the council.
Faucet Inn thanks its loyal customers over the time it has operated the site and regrets the impact on the LGBTQI community of the closure of the venue.
This historical venue has long been recognised as an important part of the LGBTQI community and its significant contribution to many performers on the London and international cabaret circuit."
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