Gay London pub the George and Dragon to close down

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The owners of the George and Dragon pub in east London have announced that they intend to close.

Following increasing rent, the owner Richard Battye, wrote on Facebook that he could no longer keep the pub open.

The lease for the Shoreditch bar, which opened back in 2002, will now go up for sale.

Battye wrote on Facebook: “On Monday, following several fraught months, we put the lease for The George & Dragon up for sale.

“Despite 7 years remaining, a recent rent review has caused a dramatic increase in the cost of our lease and we don’t feel we can meet the payments and keep The George & Dragon as it is so we have decided, a little earlier than intended, that now is the time to wrap things up.”

He went on to plead hopefully that someone with more resources may take over the bar to keep it going.

“It is possible that someone out there may have the vision and the money to keep something of the spirit going – which would be a dream.

“We will be looking for a new opportunity and hope very much that some of our dear G&D fans will be able to join us on this new journey soon.

“We’ll try to be as open as we can throughout this process as we’d love as friends as possible to join us for a drink as we begin to bid farewell to our beloved old pub.”

The George and Dragon is the latest London gay pub to announce closure.

Earlier this year the Black Cap in Camden had its Asset of Community Value status upheld at appeal, despite closing months before.

The London’s pub was built in 1889, and was one of London’s oldest continually operating LGBT venues, after it became popular with gay men in the 1960s.

However, the Black Cap pub closed its doors in April after a battle over a proposed redevelopment which lasted several months.

The plans for the future of the building have since be shrouded in mystery, with protests to ensure its future as a gay venue.

Twelve squatters occupied the site earlier year – but it was later revealed that the potential new owners plan to lease it to café chain Breakfast Club.