US: New York pub banned from becoming gay bar

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A New York pub has been banned from re-branding into a gay bar by its landlord.

The owner of Lulu’s in Brooklyn is worried he will go out of business, after his landlord blocked his attempts to convert the business.

According to the New York Post, John McGillion had hoped to revitalise his pub and take advantage of the growing gay and lesbian population in the area, by re-branding into a gay bar.

The lease papers, from landlord group Guard General Merchandise Corp, state: “The leased Premises shall be used by Tenant as a restaurant and bar. It shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and / or restaurant”.

In legal papers attempting to get the clause thrown out, McGillon says: “I am barely scraping by on the proceeds of the bar. If I am permitted to operate a gay bar at the premises I believe that I will be able to make a considerable profit”

He told the Post that due to competition from other bars in the area, since taking over in 2005 he had “lost money, there’s no doubt”.

McGillion forecasts that if he were able to take advantage of the gay target market, he could have had “40 to 50 percent” more business.

He said: “[Gay bars] do well because you don’t have issues of fighting.

“They’re nice people, they’re wonderful to deal with. It’s easier. Typically you don’t have to offer food.

“I don’t know what their problem is. Who knows? I thought those days were gone.

“I mean, who cares, today? Everybody’s got their rights. What’s the big deal?”