Molly Moggs pub closes


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Yet another London landmark has closed. The iconic Gay bar on Charing Cross road  closed unexpectedly on 30th March 2017.  This brings the total of Gay bars to shut since the millennium to 116 see the full list below.


3 Monkey: Greenwich

The Angel: a cabaret bar in Stratford.

Artful Dodger: in Highbury and Islington.

The Bar: a large style cafe bar in Shoreditch.

Bar Aquda: on Maiden Lane near Covent Garden.

Barcode Vauxhall: cruisy bar in Albert Embankment. 1996 – 2015

Barcode: a dancey bar in Soho which late 00s.

Bar Fusion: in Islington.

Bar Titania: Was on Charing Cross road on the site of the old Ku Bar next to Manbar/CXR. Closed 2016.

The Birdcage: A traditional friendly pub in Chiswick which closed in 2006.

The Black Cap: legendary North London drag bar and club which closed in 2015. 1965 – 2015

The Black Horse: East end gay bar near Stepney Green.

The Blush Bar: a lesbian bar in Stoke Newington. 1997 – 2015.

The Box: relaxed cafe on Seven Dials near Covent Garden.

Brewery Tap: a friendly local gay bar in Stockwell

Brewers Tap, Walthamstow 

The Britannia: a different themed night every night in Leytonstone

Brief Encounters

The British Prince: An intimate east end boozer near Limehouse

Bromptons: Big and cruisy was once part of the now-defunct Earl’s Court gay scene. Is now being turned into flats. 1984 – 2008.

Buzz Bar: Bar in Clapham Junction

Cafe Au-Reole: gay bar set on two floors, was part of the Earl’s Court gay scene.

Central Station, Walthamstow: gay bar with nightly entertainment in Walthamstow.

Candy Bar: London’s number one Lesbian bar – had a brief reopening, but closed again in 2014. 1996 – 2014

Catch 22: short-lived gay bar in Wood Green, the most northern gay bar in London.

Citrus Grove: Fridays only in Gipsy Hill.

The Champion: long running and unpretentious in Notting Hill.

Copacabana: Discobar in Earls Court closed in the late 90s

Cock: a traditional pub in Kennington which closed in 2005.

Cock and Comfort: large gay boozer in Bethnal Green

The Coleherne: bar which tried to rebrand in 2008 becoming the Pembroke. It was London’s oldest gay bar until its closure.

The Coronet: described as a stylish east end bar, near Stratford, now apartments

Compass, Islington

Crews, Central London, on St. Martin’s Lane

Crown and Anchor: a gay and mixed pub in Bromley North. Closed in 2006 and reopened as a non-gay bar and told customers who were looking for a gay bar to go to Stonewall bar in Lewisham – also now closed.

David Warriors A Bar: for men with attitude – men only in Southwark

Due South: in Stoke Newington

Dukes: a gay bar which was very popular with bears in Vauxhall It now operates as Eagle London, which is still a gay venue.

The Duke of Wellington: mixed and friendly bar in Islington.

Edge, The: 4 Storey gay bar perched on the edge of Soho Square.

Embassy, The

Escape: Popular dance bar with student night in Soho, closed in 2014. 1998 – 2014.

Fallen Angel: Islington. Bar with rooms upstairs where support groups would meet. Has now been turned into flats.

Flag, The, Finsbury Park

The Fort: a cruisy gay bar in Elephant and Castle. Was reported closed in August 2011. 1997 – 2011.

First Out Cafe Bar: legendary gay venue lasted 25 years before closing in 2011. 1986 – 2011.

The George Music Bar: Cosy bar in Isleworth.

Goose and Carrot: gay-friendly mixed pub in Croydon

Gladstone Arms: gay bar in Borough which had regular themed nights.

Gloucester, The: Gay bar featured in Beautiful Thing

The Green: Swanky, upmarket bar on Upper Street, Islington. 2007 – 2012.

The Green Carnation: Upper market wine bar on the edge of Soho. Closed in 2015.

The Green Man: Traditional and mixed in Harlesden.

George And Dragon: in Shoreditch was forced to close after a dramatic price hike in its lease.

Golden Lion, Kings Cross

The Halfway House: described as east London’s friendly gay bar in Bethnal Green.

Harpoon Louis:  The bar upstairs, Harpoon Louie’s (later Harpo’s and later still Banana Max), was until the late 1980s among the most popular gay bars in London. It is now a Wagamama restaurant.Above the Copa in Earls Court Road, it was the largest gay bar in London, on 3 levels with an extensive garden. Opened in 1983 and closed in 1997 (thanks to John for the info)

The Hoist: cruise and sex venue for guys in Vauxhall. Closed in January 2017 after 21 years in business

The Horns: cruise bar at London Bridge.


The Joiner’s Arms: Long established LGBT space which closed in January 2015 1997 – 2015


The Jubilee Tavern

Two8Six: Was a pub formerly known as Stonewalls, it closed in 2012. The 1960s – 2012

Kazbar: Announced it would close at the end of 2016. Was one of two gay bars in Clapham, the other being The Two Brewers.

King Edward IV: in Islington closed in 2011. 1966 – 2011


Leinster, The: The pub opened in 1998 and closed in 2005 on two floors, a traditional gay pub for the “Chelsea crowd” The pub which was on the corner of Ossington St has since been demolished. (Thanks to John for the info)

Limelight, On Charing Cross Road, near the Palace Theatre. Was a Sunday night evening event.

The Little Apple: traditional gay pub closed in 2014. 1993 – 2014

Lo Profile: a gay bar started by dating site, Gaydar, closed in 2013.

London Apprentice: Old Street, North London

Lower Ground: a basement bar in West Hampstead.

Lounge: iconic lesbian night which closed and then reopens and then closed again.

Macbeth, The: gay run pub near Old Street.

Madame Jo Jos: famed Drag venue which closed in 2014. 1966 – 2014

Manbar: the bar that went on to replace CRX79 on Tottenham Court Road.

The Market Tavern: Islington.

Molly Moggs, a friendly and brash central London pub, famous for its larger than life drag queens, karaoke and friendly staff. One of the oldest LGBT pubs in the UK. 2017

The Navy Arms: a Friendly pub in Deptford.

Nelson’s Head: a traditional pub in Horatio Street. 2007 – 2015.

The Oak: lesbian bar in Manor House. 1994 – 2013

Old Ship: East end gay pub near Old Street.

The Orange: Described as a large boys space, with themes every night.

The Outback Bar: next to Buzz Bar, also closed in Clapham Junction.

Penny Farthing: A favourite Hammersmith hangout.

Play Pit: A sleazy bar room cruisy bar in Kings Cross

Profile: a cafe and bar opened by dating gurus Gaydar, closed in 2013 along with the sale of their radio station Gaydar Radio. 2007 – 2013.

Prohibition Cafe Bar: gay owned, a gay friendly pub in Streatham.

Princess Of Wales: Friendly gay bar in Woolwich.

Queens Arms: closed in the early 2000s and turned into flats. It was a smart, upmarket pub.

Queens Arms: a homely pub in Hounslow Central.

Queens Head: Chelsea gay/straight pub that was unable to negotiate a new lease due to increased costs in 2016.

Ram, The: Islington with legendary party nights.

Rocket: Two bars in one, in Acton.

Roebuck: a bar situated in Rennall Street, later called Bar Phoenix which was eventually demolished.

Rose and Crown: Greenwich

Red Stiletto: in Vauxhall.

Racecourse: The a friendly mixed pub in Crouch End.

Route 73: traditional gay bar in Stoke Newington.

Rush Bar: a lesbian bar which closed in the mid-2000s.

Salisbury: St Martins Lane, WC1 (yes it is still there, but now straight).
This was pub frequented by actors and gay men in the 1950/60s becoming completely gay in the 1970s. It ceased trading as a gay pub in 1985 with the opening of a new gay bar across the road (Brief Encounter).  It was featured in the film “Victim” with gay leading actor Dirk Bogarde. The film made in 1961 told the story of the culture of blackmail in the gay community.
The film set in motion the legalisation of homosexuality in 1967. (thanks to John for info)

The Salmon, in Islington

Shadow Lounge: A members dance club/bar that allowed guest listing announced it was to shut in September 2016.

Skinners Arms: a Traditional gay pub in Oval.

Soho’s Strippers

Southopia: a lesbian bar in Kennington.

SW9: a stylish cafe bar in Brixton.

The Stag

Star And Garter: a traditional pub in Bromley. 2006 – 2014.

Stokey Stop: a lesbian bar in Stoke Newington

West Central

White Horse: a mixed pub on the Westferry DLR.

Woolwich Infant: Plumstead

Y Bar: On Essex Road in Islington.

79CXR: manly bar on Tottenham Court Road. 1994 -2015

Clubs (35)

Area: Dance club in Albert Embankment 2006 – 2014

Atelier at The End: Weekly lounge style event near Tottenham Court Road.

Benjy’s 2000: a Sunday night club night for gay men, near Mile End.

The Block: A Bromley by Bow dress code, cruisy club night.

Coco Latte: every Friday night at the Chocolate Bar.

Club V: a popular gay indie night every other Saturday in Islington.

Club Kali: at the Dome, a bi-monthly bhangra bash in N19.

Club Tranvesties: A Stepney night for “TVs/ TSs” every Sunday near Aldgate East

Crash: late night club from 10.30 in Vauxhall. Closed in 2007. It now operates as Union, which is still a gay event.


Extreme: Sunday afternoon clubbing from 1 PM till 9 PM.

FF was at Turnmills

Fist: described as a “sleaze pit” with a strictly enforced dress code.

G-A-Y: at the Astoria. 1993 – 2008 Moved to Heaven.

Gay Tea Dance: at the Limelight on Shaftesbury Ave.

Ghetto: Cult Soho dance club with a mixed clientele of club freaks, artists and international A listers.  Legendary nights included NagNagNag, Misshapes and The Cock (thanks to LWellsted).  2001 – 2008

Long Yang Club: a gay night for Southeast Asians.

Off The Hook: at Velvet – mixed Monday night club.

The Phoenix: clubbing on Saturdays near Oxford Circus.

Popstarz: mixed club night which used to be held in Kings Cross closed in November 2014.

Reflections: an intimate gay night in Stratford.

Reflex: attitude free clubbing in Kingston Upon Thames.

Sadie Masie: at the now defunct London lesbian and Gay Centre in Cow Cross Street, Farringdon. (Thanks to John)

Shadow Lounge: A members club in the heart of Soho famous for its light up dance floor and VIP sections. Closed 2016.

The Spiral: gay-friendly club near Old Street.

Substation South: late night club, with different themes each night of the week in Brixton.

Substation Sound-Shaft: on Hungerford Lane – cruisy late night club/bar – Thursday nights were called Twisted and Fridays were called SPUNK.

Subway: Leicester Square

The Lounge: described as a “gentleman’s” club with bar and restaurant.

Trade: Techno club night at Turnmills. 4 AM till 1 PM in Farringdon. Last night was held in October 2015.

Trash Palace: In Soho, set over three floors down the road from Ku Bar.

The Tube: Late night club and cruise bar on Saturdays was called Wigout.

Turnmills: Clerkenwell

Voltz: Was beneath the Roebuck in Lewisham.

Way out: club night for gays, straights TVs and Trans folk in Tower Hill.


Saunas (1)

Steamworks 309 – Sauna based in New Cross Closed 2014

And don’t forget the cinemas


Fantasy Video

and Abcat

here is a link to an article I wrote about cinemas



Children of the cleaved forest premiere


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The play was supposed to go ahead last year see previous post but the director  bottled it . So now its on again. The controversial play Children of the cleaved forest by Tony Hickson  is set for it’s UK premiere at the Bread and Roses Theatre Clapham. 12th March till Tue 14th March.

The play focuses on a school girl gang with extreme violence, animal cruelty, murder, torture, knife crime, shoplifting, bullying, underage drinking, arson and tramp bashing. The play takes place in London set against a rising back drop of youth violence.

Trigger warning, extreme violence, animal cruelty, murder, torture, knife crime, shoplifting, bullying, underage drinking, arson and tramp bashing.Children of the cleaved forest play

Children of the cleaved forest playChildren of the cleaved forest play

Children of the cleaved forest playChildren of the cleaved forest play

Children of the cleaved forest UK premiere


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Playwright Tony Hickson is set to premiere his play Children of the cleaved forest at the Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham London. The tale is a dark story set around a gang of schoolgirls, the story is based on the Conservative government and the old school network of bullies who demonize minorities and the working class. The play features four promising actresses ,in a time when it is difficult to get meaningful parts for women on the stage or screen this all girl cast is a force to be reckoned with. The play runs for three nights at the Bread and roses in Clapham 16th to 18th October 2016 as part of the spiral New writers event. The show features the talents of Emma Stott, Maria R Simmonds, Rosie Akerman, and Sophie Ann Barker.

children of the cleaved forest

children of the cleaved forest

children of the cleaved forest play

children of the cleaved forest play

children of the cleaved forest play

children of the cleaved forest play

children of the cleaved forest play

children of the cleaved forest play

Taxidermy Sci Fi puppet film set to rock festival

Hello there culture fans the Hackney Attic film festival is set to be rocked by a controversial puppet film featuring dead animals as stars . Cult director Tony Hickson will be showing his Sci Fi Puppet extravaganza in August, the film features a fully stuffed , cast as well as a stellar script. The film had its European premiere at the Anka international animation festival in Slovakia and Showed at The Oska Bright festival in Brighton. The Hackney Attic Film festival runs from Aug 15th to 31st.

captain ratty intergalactic space crusader

captain ratty intergalactic space crusader



Farewell to Soho’s Stockpot

Good blog I also wrote about it’s sad demise on mine

The Great Wen

It feels these days as if every time I venture into the West End I will pass a raft of unfamiliar shiny expensive shops and restaurants and then stumble upon one last holdout from the London that I grew up with. “How on earth has it survived,” I’ll think. And then a week later, I’ll find out on Twitter that it hasn’t.

So it is with Soho’s Stockpot, the cheap and cheerful bistro on Old Compton Street that was more than a cafe but wasn’t quite a restaurant. This closes on Sunday after decades of serving starving Soho dilettantes.

I started coming here in my early 20s. It was the first time I felt like a proper grown-up because I wasn’t simply eating at Burger King. It was utterly, ineffably London, as if they had distilled the very essence of the city and mixed it into the gravy that they…

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Farewell The Stockpot

I heard the sad news today,that the Soho institution The stockpot is set to close this Sunday. My facebook feed was up in arms this morning, but sadly, this is what it’s like in London these days, you walk down a street you haven’t  been down for a while and bang, it’s all changed. I have been going to the Stockpot for 15 years, I first started going when I was an actor, and it was always packed with people I knew, when we weren’t in there it was the one in Panton street or The west End Kitchen. There were once 7 Stockpots in London now only the Kings Road one is left. I was told that it’s because of the rents in Soho but internet rumor has said it’s because the boss wants to retire, the other Stockpot is still open though. I fear that it will be replaced by some trendy bar or cafe , with sky high prices. I can’t think how many times I have been in there and the conversations I overheard, the colorful locals. I remember the artist Sebastian  Horsley was a regular at one time, I also remember sitting outside one summer day, and seeing him walking through the crowd, only to read he had died two days previously.

I don’t want to be overly morbid, but the beginning of the end started some time ago, and the changing face of London seems to be speeding up. I only hope when everything is gone ,there’s something left for me. I like when it’s different, but it’s just not the same.

stockpot-eat-drink-cafs-delis-large (1)

Apple crumble and jelly and cream please.



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The onslaught of gentrification continues and it is all complete in Kings Cross in the London Borough of Islington. Kings Cross used to have a reputation as being a seedy Red light district, and I never really visited it in 20 years of living in London. The council started to clean the area up in the 1990s. There was a need to move the drug dealers and prostitutes out of the area, but like most vices they just moved elsewhere.



The gentrification of the area came to a head with the closure of the last three sex cinemas in the area this year. What has this got to do with gentrification ? Well it all starts in the 70s, when most porn cinemas were unlicensed. There were a few incidents when people were thrown out of porn cinemas and returned and torched the place. The London councils decided to grant licences so that they would have to adhere to fire regulations, and so the places would be safe. The end of 2014 saw the licences for Oscars a gay cinema and Abcat in City Road as well as fantasy video all revoked. The revocation  of these licences were after undercover visits by council officials, who witnessed “Goings On”. I am not sure what they expected in a porn cinema .



They were given the choice to appeal the decision, but the legal costs were going to be in the thousands. The three cinemas all closed down within 6 months of each other. Fantasy video has now moved to New Cross. There are still a few cinemas in Soho, but as Soho is changing, their days are numbered. See my article sexless Soho. It could be said with today’s internet you can watch porn in your own home, but the fact that they closed all three cinemas in a short period of time, suggests a wider agenda. Oscars cinema was the only gay cinema to be closed , and it’s over the road from a Central Station a very important pub in the gay scene. This is where The Gay Times newspaper had an office upstairs when it first started.  The pub hosts various fetish nights, and as part of the new Puritanism could be in the sights of the council.