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Admiral Duncan, Retro Bar and Kings Arms to remain closed as owners ‘rebase’ business

The Admiral - site of a 1999 nail bombing - has been called "a memorial that must be retained"

By Jamie Tabberer

London LGBTQ+ spaces Admiral Duncan, Retro Bar and Kings Arms are to remain closed until “restrictions are eased”, as its parent company “rebases” its business, it has emerged.

All are long-serving and beloved drinking spots for queers in the English capital – particularly the Admiral Duncan, the site of a 1999 far-right nail bombing which left three people dead.

The spaces have been closed since March 2020, when the UK Government announced a national lockdown.

A rep for parent group The Stonegate Pub Company confirmed the venues’ continued closure in a statement this morning – while warning that Government-mandated, Coronavirus-induced measures such as curfews are forcing them to change their business model.

“We are having to rebase our business”

A spokesperson said: “The Admiral Duncan, Retro Bar and the Kings Arms have been closed since March when the Government ordered a national lockdown.

“The myriad of restrictions placed on pubs and bars has meant it is not possible to reopen these businesses at the current time and they will remain closed until restrictions are eased.

“Like many businesses across the capital the introduction of the 10pm curfew and subsequent further local tiered restrictions have had a significant impact on thousands of businesses, as well as further reducing footfall in town and city centres and undermining consumer confidence.

“The combination of these factors and subsequent impact on sales and volumes, means that we are having to rebase our business accordingly, whilst the restrictions remain.”

Responding to the news on Twitter, LGBTQ+ educator Shaun Dellenty said the pubs provide “safe spaces for LGBT+ people & friends. After surviving a bombing, it’s really sad to hear of closing of Admiral Duncan. A permanent memorial must be retained.”

The 1999 Admiral Duncan attack was carried out by neo-Nazi David Copeland, who killed three people and injured 70.

Attitude has reached out to reps for Admiral Duncan, Retro Bar and King’s Head, as well as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Night Czar Amy Lamé for comment.

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