The leather and fetish venue has been running 21 years; owner says he’s simply ‘had enough … we wanted to go out on a high’.

The Hoist, London’s long-running leather and dress-code club, is set to close in South London.

The venue has run for over two decades beneath railway arches on South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall.

Rumors about the venue’s future have been circulating for several weeks.

gay club

Today, in an email mail-out to members, monthly club Hard-On announced that ‘due to the Hoist closing down’, its next party will take place 17 December at Protocol, located at nearby venue Fire.
Other regular events to take place at The Hoist include Twisted and SBN.

In a phone conversation to GSN, the Hoist’s owner, Guy Irwin, welcomed the opportunity to dispel some rumors about the impending closure.

‘We haven’t been forced out of the venue and business hasn’t been bad. In fact, in recent weeks, business has been incredible.

‘In all honesty, we opened the Hoist 21 years ago: it was going to originally be for just two years. That turned into seven years, and then ten years, then 12, then 15.

‘Now, after 21 years, me and Kurt [former partner] have simply had enough. We decided to do an Abba – and go out at our peak! We wanted to go out on a high.

‘It’s been great but I’ve had enough. I’m 56 next week and I live a quiet life in rural Norfolk with my husband and two dogs.

‘We’re closing on Sunday 11 December. We negotiated with Network Rail to get out of our lease. They’ve been a decent landlord. They are not, as far as I understand, wanting to lease it to another nightclub business.’

‘We had a great 21 years but we’re happy to walk away.’
London has seen a spate of closures on its gay bar scene, with high-profile casualties including the Black Cap, Richmond Arms, Joiners Arms and George & Dragon.

Vauxhall, where the Hoist is located, has seen a tremendous increase in real estate value in recent years, and the closure of several gay businesses, including other beneath-the-arches venues, including Bar Code and Area.


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