Words: Alastair James; pictures: Zodiac Bar
With lockdown and the last of the restrictions due to come to an end in just over a week (19 July), we’re very much looking forward to getting back out-out and back on the LGBTQ scene, close to as it was pre-pandemic.
The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but the LGBTQ community has been hard hit due to the complete closure of a lot of the spaces many of us use to gather.
It’s also been incredibly difficult for these vital spaces to survive the financial and legal turmoil - which is why it’s so amazing to hear of a new LGBTQ space opening up in London's Camden.
Zodiac on Tour 2 July 2021 (Photo: Zodiac Bar)
"Everyone is welcome to come and find support, love, and friendship.”
Last week it was announced that Zodiac Bar had been granted a new license in the heart of Camden, north London.
Speaking to Attitude just after the announcement, Jade, aka Lady Phoenix (who describes herself as “the purple-haired mother of Zodiac!”) gave her reaction to getting the license: “It's an amazing feeling, we worked so hard on the application to get a great license for the new venue in Camden.”
We're so happy to announce that we've been granted the license for the NEW @bar_zodiac— ZodiacBar (@bar_zodiac) July 2, 2021
We'd like to thank u all for your support & love 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈
Special thanks to @CamdenCouncil, @DannyBeales & @AdamDKHarrison for believing in us & allowing us to provide a space for LGBTQ+ community pic.twitter.com/ZC23slrd5J
During lockdown, the bar hosted a number of online charity quiz nights. Since the end of lockdown, the Zodiac on Tour parties have seen a different space across London taken over every week and given some #ZodiacLove.
Jade says the brand new bar is a split-level venue with a capacity of over 250 people. "The vibe will be very similar to our original venue, a chilled cocktail bar on the ground floor and a club-like atmosphere in the basement (where we will have our live shows too!)
“People can expect a warm welcome and to feel the #ZodiacLove when they come in. We really want to make a community feel where everyone is welcome to come and find support, love, and friendship.”
Jade aka Lady Phoenix and David Hoskins (Photo: Zodiac Bar)
Jade is setting up the new space with her partner David Hoskins. She said the support from the community and those who supported the license application was “overwhelming”.
“We had over 90 letters sent to Camden Council in support of our application from people all over the community”, she added. “Two Camden Ward Councillors (Adam Harrison & Danny Beales) even attended the licensing hearing to offer their support!
“We are so grateful to everyone!”
"We are absolutely thrilled"
Jade says they’re starting the refurbishment of the new venue as soon as they can and are aiming to open the new space in August, but says the final date is TBC.
She told Attitude she was glad to be setting up a new space for the LGBTQ community in Camden: “As a Camden resident myself, there has been a real lack of safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, especially with the loss of places such as the Black Cap. We are absolutely thrilled that we are able to open the new venue in Camden and hope to go some way to remedying this.”
Zodiac on Tour 3 July 2021 (Photo: Zodiac Bar)
Reflecting on the last year Jade says, “I know how difficult the last year has been for our community, with the pandemic and all of the isolation and loneliness that has brought. The silver lining for us is that we got the opportunity to create Zodiac and can now use this to give something positive to the Queer Community.”
We can’t wait to come for a post-pandemic night out!
You can sign up for updates on Zodiac Bar here.
The Attitude Summer issue is out now.