Gay London pub the George and Dragon becomes latest venue to close

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East London gay pub the George and Dragon pub has become the latest to close its doors.

The Shoreditch pub opened in 2002, and has been at the heart of London’s gay community for over a decade as a pub, drag venue and art space.

However, it has become the latest gay venue in the city to announce its closure following an increase in rent.

A final message said: “It’s almost 13 years since we opened our doors and from pretty much that night we have been blown away with the amazing response and all the amazing things which have their origins inside Number 2 Hackney Road, a former Victorian boozer, squatted and turned into a shoe shop which we reboozerified back in 2002.

“We are due to surrender our lease on Tuesday 1 December and a new owner will sign a new lease at the same time. We wish them every success.

“They inherit good times, good memories and a whole lotta love. We move to a new venue as soon as possible, hopefully within the week.

“The jungle drums are beating and from what we hear they’ve got it bang on.”

Writing on Facebook previously, owner Richard Battye said: “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.”

A string of high-profile London gay venues have closed over the past year.

Madame JoJo’s and the Green Carnation both shut their doors, while the Yard Bar staved off plans for redevelopment.


London’s oldest gay pub the Black Cap closed its doors in April after a battle over a proposed redevelopment which lasted several months.

After plans were revealed to turn the pub into a cafe, squatters occupied the site – and continue to fight for it to re-open.