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Iconic London gay pub to make final stand before planned closure tomorrow

2016-09-05
The Queens Head Pub in Chelsea will close its doors tomorrow (September 6) after "astronomical" rent hikes. The gay-friendly pub has been open for over 175 years, but will now be transformed into luxury flats, while the pub's landlord and staff are allegedly being evicted from the premises once the pub closes its doors. Dorinda Montgomery, who has been campaigning to save the pub through the Save the Queens Head campaign, said: "It’s an absolute disgrace. This is one of last remaining true ‘locals’ in Chelsea where ordinary working people meet to relax and unwind. We are determined to save our beloved pub. "Our fight for this pub is a fight for all pubs and protecting all places for the community from the developers!" queenshead1 A number of customers have come to the pubs defence, praising its position as a vital community focal point for ordinary people in Chelsea. "The Queen’s Head is an essential part of many people’s daily social lives and provides a friendly and safe meeting place for marginalized groups," said one punter. Another added: "It’s a great meeting place for all sections of the community and serves as a great alternative to the comparatively sterile atmosphere of the pubs on the Kings Road with a lovely local feeling and always a friendly face. "It would be an enormous loss to the community if this pub closed .....there are no other LGBT pubs with this kind of local feel in the area." A last ditch attempt to save the pub will take place tonight (September 5) at 6:00pm, with a protest planned outside the venue. The closure is one of a number of LGBT venues that have closed in recent years - including Shadow Lounge, which closed its doors just this weekend. This July, iconic LGBT venue The Black Cap in Camden was saved from being turned into a gastropub, however, its future still remains uncertain. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to fight alongside the LGBT community to save our venues and spaces from closure, saying: “Protecting London’s LGBT venues is an integral part of my plans to grow London’s cultural sector – one of my core priorities as Mayor. “The recent tragedy in Orlando is a terrible reminder that the struggle for acceptance amongst the LGBT community is ongoing. And London’s response to the tragedy, where communities congregated in and around LGBT venues to show their solidarity demonstrates how crucial venues like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern are to the city’s social and cultural infrastructure.” More stories: Pokémon Go gets its own X-rated gay porn parody Straight guys kiss another man for the first time - WATCH