LGBTQ

Gay bar in London Heaven at risk of closure due to rent increase


An iconic LGBTQ+ nightclub in London faces a risk of closure. (Getty)

The iconic London gay bar Heaven is at risk of closure after a rent increase, the nightclub owner has alleged. 

Another day, another LGBTQ+ venue is at risk of closing. Spaces for the communities and allies have been struggling in recent moments.  Gay club GAY Late closed its doors for the final time in December, while beloved east London queer venue The Glory also closed down in January. 

Now, Heaven appears to be in the firing line. The owner Jeremy Joseph has said that the landlord is trying to raise the club’s rent for a second time to a total annual rent of £320,000 which has been “extremely stressful” for Joseph. 

Joseph took to Instagram on 27 February, writing: “Last September, Heaven had an automatic rent increase of £80,000 but that wasn’t enough for Arch Co who are wanting another £240,000 on top. That’s a total increase of an extra £320,000 a year.

“We have been fighting them for five months and they aren’t willing to back down so it’s going to go to arbitration and has cost us already nearly £10K in legal fees.

“The fight has just begun as it’s time to put public pressure on landlords,” Joseph continued. “This isn’t just about Heaven, this is about every hospitality venue because if our rent goes up, it will increase the rent of other venues, because at arbitration, they use other comparable rents to value yours.

“Please support, because we are not the only venue that is at risk because of landlords, it’s time to fight back and protect hospitality, too many venues have closed, including G-A-Y Late.”

The Arch Company told the BBC in a statement that Heaven was “a long-term and valued customer”.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree this between ourselves and so an independent third party has now been appointed to help resolve [it],” they said.

The iconic venue hosted its first wedding venue in 2019, when Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne tied the knot to partner David Ludford. The pair announced in April 2023 that they had ended their marriage, however. 

Across the pond, the longest-running trans cabaret show in SoMa, San Francisco announced it is set to close.





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