G-A-Y Late: Iconic Soho nightclub to close amid safety fears

The much-loved Soho nightclub G-A-Y Late will close indefinitely on December 10, owner Jeremy Joseph has announced.

Joseph said he made the decision with “great sadness,” acknowledging the news will come as a “shock” to many.

In a letter shared on social media, he said reasons for the closure include a rise in attacks on customers and staff, as well as an increase in building and development works in the area.

He said these have led to safety issues at the venue, particularly late at night, with fears the bar’s entrance or fire exit would become blocked. The venue, which has been going under its current name since the early Nineties, is one of the relatively few in London to hold a licence until 4am.

Joseph wrote: “As a result of sometimes being the only venue open late at night in the surrounding area it has led to customers and staff being attacked on their way to and from the venue.

“Despite so many attempts to get police to visit and 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 and 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 at a venue with no other venues around you.”

Joseph assured customers he had done everything he could to try to keep G-A-Y Late going but explained that his mental health had started to suffer as a result.

Staff, however, will not lose their jobs as a result of the closure because they will be moved to new roles at G-A-Y Bar, also in Soho, and Heaven at Charing Cross. An application has been approved for G-A-Y Bar to open until 1am, an hour later than before, while another has been submitted to allow for Heaven’s capacity to increase.

Joseph added: “I want to thank all the customers who have supported G-A-Y Late and to all the staff who have made it one of the most successful LGBT venues in the UK.

“This is something I’m very proud of and something that can never be taken away from G-A-Y."