Popular London gay bar to be forced to close

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The owners of a popular gay bar in East London have been told they will need to find a new home for the venue as the property’s lease will not be renewed.

The Joiners Arms in Hackney has been through a lot in recent years, as the local council rejected calls from the Metropolitan Police to revoke its late licence. The Met claimed crime in the area could be reduced if the bar was closed earlier.

Now, as of 15 January 2015, the bar must find another home, as its management have been told that the lease on its premises will not be renewed.

As part of a large development, the pub will be converted into accommodation, much to the dismay of manager David Pollard and the bar’s regulars.

A statement on the bar’s website reads: “The Joiners Arms has won renown as a friendly, safe and welcoming venue. We were – and remain – the very first pub to sign up to the Living Wage as a minimum for all its staff.

“The bar, which has been under the same management since becoming a gay venue in 1997, has unsuccessfully been seeking an alternative venue to host.”

More than 3,100 people signed a petition last year against plans by police for the venue to close at 12.30am each night.