21 Oct 2013
The Candy Bar in London's Soho is due to close in January 2014
This really does feel like the end of an era... The Candy Bar, London's only dedicated bar/club for gay/bi girls, is due to shut down in January 2014.
First launched in the late nineties by Kim Lucas, the venue changed hands several times before being purchased in 2011 by Gary Henshaw of Ku Bar Group.
Henshaw said in a statement: “Running the Candy Bar for the last two years has been an amazing experience. But a 50% increase in rent and the current economic climate forced my hand. Candy has been sold to an outside investor and will cease to operate as a lesbian bar in January 2014.
“The next three months will be about celebrating and commemorating the unique legacy Candy Bar has played over its seventeen years on London’s gay landscape. Meanwhile I am working hard at bringing an alternative girls space to the heart of Soho.”
The Candy Bar was the subject of a Channel 5 fly-on-the-wall TV show in 2011. The six-part series followed the lives of the Soho bar’s staff.
However, on a positive note, Ku Bar Girls at Ku Bar on Lisle Street is due to launch the week after Candy closes in January.
The statement reads: "Ku Bar Frith Street will be totally refurbished and effectively split into two units, with the entire lower ground floor becoming ‘Ku Bar Girls’, the hottest new girls’ bar in town, ran and managed by girls, for girls and their guests.
"Open daily from 4pm, the newly redesigned venue will be a modern spacious bar with a relaxed early evening vibe. It will have its own entrance staffed by female security on Old Compton Street, giving the lesbian community of the capital a real, visible presence on London’s most famous gay street."