London’s Black Cap Closed by Property Developers
London queer pub the Black Cap was closed without warning last week (April 18) after the venue’s owner reportedly sold it to property developers keen to convert the Camden Town drag/ cabaret institution into luxury flats.
The sudden closure happened soon after Candy Bar, The Joiners Arms and Madame Jojo’s were similarly shut in response to London’s seemingly never ending property boom and provoked demonstrations both outside the Black Cap and online via Facebook and Change.org.
“We the undersigned are deeply shocked and angered by the closure of the Black Cap in Camden Town,” said the petition ‘Reopen the Black Cap’.
“This venue played a crucial part in LGBTQ history in London and remains an iconic performance venue. The Cap is widely supported in the community and is a place where people can come together to feel safe and supported.”
“We call upon the new owners of the Black Cap to reopen the venue as soon as possible, and return it to its traditional historic use – as an LGBTQ cabaret and performance venue, pub, meeting place and safe space for all,” they urged.
Speaking to the Independent, leading cabaret critic Ben Walters said the closure if part of a bigger picture of gentrification ruining London’s alternative and creative spaces.
“The LGBT and drag scenes are the canary in the coalmine,” he said.
“At first it’s those without much clout – the gay scene, the cabaret scene, the independent music scene – who get clobbered, then the slightly less marginalised, and so on up.” (Independent: http://ind.pn/1bep8gH )