Following the news that Chariots was closing its Shoreditch branch later this month, the London sauna chain has abruptly closed its branch in Streatham. The venue had been open for almost 20 years.
A Gay Star News reader, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘I went there yesterday (16 February) at lunchtime. There was a big white van outside and they were taking away all the towels.
‘The manager was there and he told me that staff were only informed last Friday that the land had been sold and the venue was closing. I think they closed Sunday.
‘He said they were all shocked and that he’d had regulars turning up and some were very upset to hear of the closure – some were in tears.
‘I’ve had friends texting me, people who went regularly, who are really upset. I’ve supported the place for the last 15 years and am very sad to see it go.’
A spokesperson for Chariots confirmed the closure to Gay Star Business.
‘I can confirm that our Streatham branch has closed,’ said Melanie Giddings at Chariots’ head office. ‘Our Shoreditch branch is closing on 22 February, but we are actively seeking new premises in the Shoreditch area. Until then, our Waterloo and Vauxhall branches remain open.’
Chariots in Shoreditch – the largest sauna in the UK for gay and bisexual men – is being demolished to make way for a new, luxury development consisting of a 200-room hotel, retail and office space.