Close
News / 12 August, 2015

Shoreditch gay pub the George and Dragon slain by rent hikes

Owners say ‘dramatic’ rent increase has forced closure as another gay venue shuts on Hackney Road

George_and_dragon_photo_460

George and Dragon on Hackney Road: Photograph: Google

The owners of a Shoreditch gay pub have announced it is closing following a “dramatic” rent hike.

The George and Dragon on Hackney Road opened in 2002 and has a large LGBTQI following.

It is the latest in a spate of gay pubs in and around the Hackney Road area which have been shut down or changed ownership.

In February 2014 iconic venue The Joiners Arms closed, although a campaign launched to save it successfully won the pub Asset of Community Value status.

The Nelsons’ Head off Columbia Road also closed down as a gay pub in February though the pub has since reopened under new management.

Owner Richard Battye said in a statement to his customers: “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.

“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.”

Charlotte Gerada, speaking on behalf of Friends of the Joiners Arms said the campaign was “incredibly saddened” to hear the pub was closing.

“It’s yet another victim of rapid gentrification in London that’s seeing important spaces for minority groups destroyed for the sake of maximum profit.

“With so few queer venues now in existence in the East End, politicians and local councils should be acutely aware of the detrimental impact the mass closure of queer venues and spaces is having on the health, safety and social well-being of their residents.”

/ 12 August, 2015

3 Comments on “Shoreditch gay pub the George and Dragon slain by rent hikes

Anna
August 12, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Please do something to protect what made East London so great. If bars keep closing, the diversity that East London is celebrated for will become a stylised, commercialised memory.

Nick
August 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

@ Anna

What do you think should be done, and by whom?

Your exhortation to “please do something” seems rather aimless.

Berto
June 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

I have seen so many pubs and discos come and go but is it really that important to have a venue that is labelled for minorities like LGBT community? Today so many pubs in East LDN are so mixed and so open, one can feel very much at home.

Comment

GET OUR WEEKLY DIGEST

Sign up for Hackney news straight to your inbox with our weekly Friday digest - also featuring special offers, competitions and more
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...