Belfast gay bar co-owned by Game of Thrones’ Hodor actor closes down

Gay Northern Irish actor Kristian Nairn played Hodor in Game of Thrones.

A popular Belfast gay bar that was co-owned by Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn has abruptly closed down.

Nairn, who played Hodor in the hit HBO fantasy series, launched the Libertine just two years ago with his business partner Jim Crawford-Smyth through their business Elwynn Leisure.

Since then, the bar, situated on Tomb Street, had been a hot spot and safe space for the local LGBTQ+ community, offering patrons a nightclub, beer garden, and karaoke lounge, as well as a regular roster of themed nights.

According to the gay bar’s Facebook page, their last event was held as recently as Sunday, 1 October.

Actor Kristian Nairn. (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Actor Kristian Nairn opened the gay bar back in 2021. (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

So, when regular customers noticed that the Libertine’s website had gone down this week, it came as quite a shock.

An automated email sent out from the bar, seen by the Irish Independent, simply: “Libertine is now closed.

You may like to watch

“If you are contacting re tickets or a Karaoke Lounge booking, a full refund has already been issued as of Monday 1st October 2023.”

Taking to social media, disappointed fans of the bar tried to get to the bottom of the sudden closure.

“Does anyone know what the craic is with Libertine Belfast? Apparently, the drag queens are saying it’s closed & tickets have been cancelled,” one person asked on X (aka Twitter).

Another wrote on Facebook: “Tickets cancelled, website is gone, marked as closed on Google, and the queen’s making posts saying goodbye.

“I’ve not seen anything official but I think it’s safe to say Libertine is gone.”

Libertine’s closure comes just two months after Nairn announced the closure of another one of his ventures, arcade bar Cuckoo.

The Game of Thrones actor announced the launch of The Libertine back in September 2021 in a post to Instagram that read: “In a few short months, @jim_crawford1 and I will be opening Libertine Belfast – Northern Ireland’s newest 750 capacity gay bar, nightclub & garden in Tomb Street.

“We always wanted to open an arcade bar and we did that with Cuckoo Belfast.

“Next on the bucket list was an inclusive LGBTQ+ club – and we have no doubt that Libertine will help make our community even more amazing than it is now.”