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Beloved London gay venue to close for second time

By Will Stroude

London gay pub Molly Moggs is set to close for the second time this year, after attempts to preserve the beloved Soho drinker in its current form failed.

The pub on Old Compton Street, famed for its drag shows, will shuts its doors for good this Sunday (20 August) before being relaunched as an LGBT+ cocktail bar by new owners the Marmalade Pub Company.

Molly Moggs originally closed with immediate effect after the sale, before being reopened in June. Despite calls to keep the venue open in its current guise, the site will be reopened under the name The Compton Cross later this year.

The Marmalade Pub Company, which purchased the venue back in March, said they had been working with London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, to ensure the venue continued to serve the capital’s LGBT community.

“Soho is an incredibly vibrant area of London and we are so excited to be launching our first venue there,” they said in a statement.

“Molly Moggs has traditionally been positioned as an LGBT+ venue and we fully recognise the importance of this status for local people.

As such we’ve been working closely with London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, to ensure that the Compton Cross continues to be a fully inclusive and welcoming venue for all members of the local community and visitors to the area.

Lamé, who was appointed by London May Sadiq Khan to champion London’s LGBT+ scene following the loss of numerous venues around the capital in recent years, welcomed the venue’s reopening.

“The Marmalade Pub Company has become the first signatory of the new LGBT+ Venues Charter which I have developed alongside The Mayor to help safeguard venues for the LGBT+ community,” she said.

“We are delighted that The Compton Cross (formerly Molly Moggs) will continue to be an LGBT+ venue.”

The news comes as shocking new statistics reveal that more than half of the capital’s LGBT+ venues have shut down over the last decade.

Venues that have closed since 2014 alone include The Black Cap in Camden, The Joiner’s Arms in Hackney, Vauxhall’s Barcode, The George and Dragon in Shoredtich, and Soho hotspots Shadow Lounge, Manbar, Madame Jojo’s and The Green Carnation.

It’s not all bad news though, as 2017 has also seen the opening of a brand new LGBT venue, South Bloc, south of the river in Vauxhall.

Meanwhile, developers building flats where now-defunct gay pub The Joiner’s Arms once stood have been told they must included an LGBT venue as part of the site’s redevelopment.

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