It’s the end of an era! The iconic LGBTQIA+ nightclub G-A-Y Late is set to close its doors.
On 24 November, the owner of the Heaven, Jeremy Joseph, took to his social media accounts to reveal the heartbreaking news.
“It is with great sadness that I’ve made the decision to close G-A-Y- Late on Sunday 10 December. I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people, and many loyal customers will feel saddened by this news,” he explained.
“But the last few years have been extremely difficult, and when you read this, you will hopefully understand that even profit-making venues are at risk of closure caused by external pressures.”
Joseph went on to say that G-A-Y Late became his biggest challenge after the COVID-19 lockdown ended due to the construction surrounding the venue.
“We always knew it would be a challenge, but with the works due to last for another year, I just found it too disheartening to continue. It has become an impossibility to run a venue under a full restructure. Honestly, we tried, but it is a losing battle,” he continued.
In addition to the ongoing construction issues, the club owner cited a rise in attacks on employees and customers as a reason behind G-A-Y Late’s closure.
“Despite so many attempts to get police to visit & support G-A-Y Late, there are no regular checks on the venue. Police are seriously understaffed, the fact is there are not enough police protecting Westminster & when you are a standalone venue, it’s impossible to guarantee customer and staff safety once they leave the premises.
“Crime continues to be one of the biggest issues for LGBT venues, but even harder when you are a venue with no other venues around you.
“I have done everything I can to try to fight on and keep G-A-Y Late going at a great cost to my own mental health, but it is not simply possible to run G-A-Y- Late in its current location.”
While the closure of G-A-Y Late may be disappointing for many, Joseph promised customers that it isn’t all negative.
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“My goal is to re-create an updated version of G-A-Y Late in Heaven’s DP & Stage bar and to have more nights at Heaven, starting with a new LGBT RnB night on Wednesdays,” he revealed.
“The biggest positives are that we put in an application to increase Heaven’s capacity and found a way to make Heaven wheelchair accessible.”
Towards the end of his statement, the longstanding club owner thanked the customers and staff for making it G-A-Y Late one of the most successful LGBTQIA+ venues in the UK.
Shortly after announcing the news, many patrons and LGBTQIA+ talent flooded the comment section with heartwarming messages.
One person wrote: “An amazing place, thank you! Lifetime of memories and being able to express yourself.”
Another user commented: “Thank you @jeremy_joseph for all that you’ve done, and for all that you do.”
Joseph also received support from various Drag Race stars who reflected on their own experiences at G-A-Y Late.
Bianca Del Rio wrote: “Thank you for the MANY AMAZING NIGHTS THERE. Sending MUCH LOVE.”
Krystal Versave added: “Had some great memories there! She will be missed. But moving on and upwards!”
While G-A-Y Late will no longer be open after 10 December, its sister site, G-A-Y Bar, will remain open seven days a week and extend its hours to 1 am.
See below for more reactions to G-A-Y Late’s closure.
End of an era. It’s practically an LGBTQ+ rite of passage to have danced on the G-A-Y Late podium to Starships at least once in your life. https://t.co/ZcCDn5YiRM
— Nick Levine (@mrnicklevine) November 24, 2023
Losing G-A-Y Late is another L for queer nightlife in London regardless if you do or don’t like it
— ©️ (@CallumXWalker) November 24, 2023
Just seen that G.A.Y Late is closing. I mean I haven’t been there for a few year but back in the day sure had more than a few messy nights there. Quite sad really.
— James Leon (@JamesLeon1) November 25, 2023
Sad to see another LGBT venue close in London. When I first moved from Glasgow I loved G-A-Y Late. Heaven has never felt welcoming and the other bar sadly closes at 1am.
Far too many venues closing! https://t.co/g0EkncS7Tk
— Cllr David McGregor (@DavidMcGregorBN) November 24, 2023
G-A-Y Late closing omg the end of an era
— Ozempic News & Updates Cabo Verde 🇨🇻🍦 (@shariahscarey) November 24, 2023
G.A.Y. Late was the scene of many a chaotic and wonderfully messy night back in my London days. Will never forget one evening when a screaming twink ran around yelling “OMG Louis Walsh is here!!!” to a massively disinterested crowd 😂 The rest of it is just a blur/censored https://t.co/VMeBRQyKpg
— Guy Lambert (@GuyLambertUK) November 25, 2023
G-A-Y Late was the first LGBT+ venue I’d ever been in. Very sad to see it go and the long trend of decline in nightlife, particularly LGBT+ nightlife, in the UK continue. https://t.co/gz2ZsGPSBg
— Joe Vinson (@JoeVinson) November 24, 2023
Quite frankly the end of an era in London. There is now No late night venue open all week round in soho, at all. This place is responsible for so many laughs, dance floor kisses, great nights, hangovers and Ubers home. G A Y late I will miss you! https://t.co/H1XhOO6EBt
— Matthew Atkins (@matkinsactor) November 24, 2023