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G-A-Y Late to close with ‘great sadness’ announces owner

"It is simply not possible to run G-A-Y Late in its current location"

By Alastair James

G-A-Y Late to close
G-A-Y Late to close (Image: G-A-Y)

Jeremy Joseph, the owner of Heaven and G-A-Y, has announced that “with great sadness” G-A-Y Late is set to close.

The bar owner made the announcement on social media on Friday (24 November) evening. In a statement, he wrote: “It is with great sadness that I’ve made the decision to close G-A-Y Late on Sunday [10] December.”

The announcement follows others from Joseph in the last couple of years where he has discussed closing his venues.

Referring to Covid and the issues that presented Joseph said he created the G-A-Y Foundation “to give me a purpose and on a day-to-day basis I worked at rediscovering the happiness in what I do in running venues.”

He continued by saying that he knew G-A-Y Late would be “the biggest challenge & it has been continuously.” Between constant building works and Crossrail Joseph said “I just found it too disheartening to continue.” He also said it had become impossible to run a venue under constant building work. “It is a losing battle,” he stated.

“It is simply not possible to run G-A-Y Late in its current location”

The development of the St Giles and Denmark Street area presented further difficulties, namely blocking the venue’s entrance, fire exit, and queue. He also referred “to customers & staff being attacked.” He added: “Despite so many attempts to get police to visit & support G-A-Y Late, there are no regular checks on the venue.”

A lack of police officers meant “it’s impossible to guarantee customer and staff safety,” he went on to say.

Joseph said he’d “done everything” but running the bar had come “at a great cost to my own mental health.” He then said, “It is simply not possible to run G-A-Y Late in its current location.”

Joseph explained that staff would be deployed between G-A-Y Bar and Heaven. He also said he had plans for an “updated version of G-A-Y Late in Heaven’s DP & Stage Bar.” Joseph also detailed some plans to increase capacity at Heaven having knocked a wall down and making it wheelchair accessible.

He closed by thanking customers and staff for making the bar “one of the most successful LGBT venues in the UK. This is something I’m very proud of & something that can never be taken away.”