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Nottingham’s oldest gay bar gets brand new makeover

The New Foresters has been serving pints for the LGBTQ+ community for over 80 years.

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Instagram/newforestersnottingham

Heralded as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, the New Foresters pub’s landlord Brent Foster has given the space a facelift but promises to maintain the location’s 84-year service to the queer community. 

Foster took over Nottingham’s oldest gay bar after fears the pub would be sold earlier this year after the owner of 20 years, Debbie Law, was seeking to sell the business to focus on her health.

Residents were deeply concerned that Nottingham’s LGBTQ+ community would be left with no safe space to collectively gather if New Foresters closed their doors for good.

The establishment is an integral spot for the LGBTQ+ community serving the community since 1938 and is branded with a pink plaque to honour the location as one of the oldest LGBTQ+ community spaces in the UK.

Among the renovations, as reported by Nottinghamshire Live, are a new plush seating area with velvet chairs, floral wallpaper, and warm lighting. 

Elsewhere, the outdoor space appears to have been bolstered with a neon sign of the pub’s name with rainbow angel wings, an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity spot.

“We’ve related the inside and outside of the pub to enhance it and bring it into 2022. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the customers who have been in as they’ve really enjoyed the new decor,” Foster told the paper on Sunday (31 August).

“I’ve really enjoyed running this place as I’ve met a lot of lovely people since I took over,” Foster added. “I’ve noticed a lot more people coming in from the LGBT+ community are coming in.”

“We’ve had a lot of new faces coming in and they keep returning which I find really rewarding because they are coming here and it’s a safe place for them. It’s been tiring and difficult at times but it’s still worth it.”

Earlier this year a short documentary was made about the venue and its history as the bar survived longer than any other LGBTQ+ location in the city of Nottingham.

Attitude also visited the beloved New Foresters in 2021 as part of Netflix’s I Like To Watch UK tour with Drag Race UK legends The Vivienne and Tia Kofi – watch it below: 

The Attitude September/October issue is available to download and order in print now and will be on newsstands from Thursday 4 August.