Gay Bar Flops

A Coventry gay bar is up for sale – just weeks after opening. The Kiki Lounge & Loft, in Warwick Street, Earlsdon, only opened as a new cabaret and mixed LGBT/heterosexual venue at the end of March. It is already on the market for £115,000.

The pub was originally built as a watchmaker’s cottage in 1855 and has four bars spread over two floors and is one of only three gay venues in Coventry.

Recent years have seen increasing numbers of gay venues close as the gay community has integrated with the wider community.

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/kiki-lounge-coventry-14653731

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Lolly for leather!

The SF Eagle | Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press | r

After a ten year campaign, San Francisco supervisors unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a gay and leather cultural district in the city’s South of Market neighborhood which will give the district negotiating rights in future development.

The neighborhood is home to gay and kink bars and the popular Folsom Street Fair which draws thousands of people every year.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/the-latest-san-francisco-designates-gay-leather-district/2018/05/01/b836743e-4d86-11e8-85c1-9326c4511033_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4756bd969592

Redefining “Glamorous”

Glamorous on Hurst Street, Birmingham was shut down after a man was glassed over the head just before 3am on March 28. Birmingham City Council voted to suspend its licence. Police, who had a string of incidents at the venue over the winter, branded the club a ‘dive’ and a ‘nightmare’. The club has now been allowed to re-open.

The licence holder said the club now needed to “camp up and gay up” after it emerged there had been a string of police reports to the venue in the Chinese Quarter.

The club must stop selling alcohol at 4am (reduced from 6am), must not admit anyone after 3am and must have four security staff on at all times.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/glamorous-gay-club-re-open-14572235

Last baths in Chicago

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Brittany Sowacke | 18301

Man’s Country was a Chicago bathhouse open since 1973, but it closed on New Year’s Eve 2018 following the death in 2017 of its founder, Chuck Renslow, of the city’s leather community. Mr Renslow was the founder of the International Mr. Leather contest.

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Chuck Renslow, 1977 | Quentin Dodt/Tribune | 18302

Vice sent a photographer to record the premises before it was cleared and redeveloped.

Man’s Country wore its history on its walls, with portraits of famous patrons, nude men, and other artwork throughout reminding visitors that this wasn’t some staid, humorless bathhouse. In the basement (dubbed “The Pit,”) a huge sauna—once billed as the largest in the Midwest—sat opposite a shower and wet area modeled after Parisian sewers. In its past, part of the cavernous Man’s Country space was transformed into a dance club called Bistro Too, where acts like Boy George, Divine, and major disco stars performed, shifting some focus away from sex in the wake of the AIDS crisis. It also played host to a leather bar called the Chicago Eagle.

Following its final night, everything and anything inside, from architectural elements to artwork to the disco balls that patterned its dance floors for decades, was auctioned.

Mr. Renslow died on 29 June 2017 of heart problems and pneumonia.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wjpzg5/taking-the-last-tour-of-chicagos-most-historic-gay-bathhouse

Chuck Renslow obituary

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Pierre Bergé

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Pierre Bergé | Agence France Press | 17156gh

The French fashion tycoon Pierre Bergé – the business brains behind the Yves Saint Laurent empire – has died aged 86.

The longtime partner of the late designer Yves Saint Laurent died in his sleep early Friday at his country home at Saint-Remy-de-Provence in southern France.

The passionate bibliophile and art collector was a tireless campaigner for gay rights and donated a large part of his fortune to AIDS research.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

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The Two Brewers Double Arsonist

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Jason Fossett | Press Association | 17147

Jason Fossett has been jailed for life after setting fire to a busy south London gay bar, the Two Brewers in Clapham, for the second time.

Fossett piled rubbish against the fire exit of  before setting it alight and fleeing on March 20. He pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life at Inner London Crown Court. He could not remember starting the fire after “having a couple of drinks”.

He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of three years and 244 days.

He was traced through his bank card after CCTV footage showed him buying two drinks at the bar on the night of the arson.

Officers searched his home and found receipts from the Two Brewers for that night, and a red leather satchel which matched that seen on the CCTV.

In 2004, Fossett was jailed for eight years for targeting the same venue in an arson attack. Police said there was no suggestion the attacks were hate crimes, although Fossett’s motivation is not known.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/man-jailed-for-life-for-setting-fire-to-busy-clapham-gay-bar-a-second-time-a3605851.html

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The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London

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Chris Helgren/Reuters | 15362

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was built in 1863 at Spring Gardens, Kennington Lane, on land which was originally part of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and was originally a music hall. It seems to have been a local gay pub ever since it opened as a public house. After the second world war it became associated with drag acts, with performances from Hinge and Bracket, Regina Fong and Lily Savage. On one occasion Princess Diana went there dressed as a man.

On 8 September 2015, in an attempt to save it from being closed by new owners and the site re-developed, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was made a grade II listed building – the first building in the UK to be listed in recognition of its importance to LGBT community history. This followed a campaign supported by Boris Johnson, Sir Ian McKellen, Paul O’Grady and others.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/09/this-london-pub-just-made-gay-history-but-can-it-be-saved.html

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/03/31/freddie-mercury-dressed-princess-diana-in-drag-to-sneak-her-into-a-gay-bar/

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