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Property Developers Close Down London Gay Bar, Community Crowdfunds To Open New One

Seven years after property developers closed down one of London’s beloved gay bars, former patrons are rallying around to raise funds to open UK’s first community-run LGBTQI venue. Joiners Arms on Hackney Road in East London, counted late fashion designer Alexander McQueen and actor Sir Ian McKellen among its regulars. Property developers shut down the bar in 2015, after they bought the plot to turn it into apartments and offices. The developers promised to fund a new LGBTQI venue at the same spot but plans stalled after pandemic hit work on a planned hotel. “I’m so proud to share the work we’ve done to turn this utopian idea into a real space – one that can survive as a viable business, will create opportunities for queer people to work, perform, create, socialise and just ‘be’ on their own terms,” Amy Roberts, Chair Friends of the Joiners Arms said in a statement. Actors Stephen Fry and  Mawaan Rizwan and comedian Joe Lycett are among those who have supported the campaign. The campaign offered shares in the new bar to supporters, with each share worth £ 25.

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