The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) in south London is under threat again after being put back on the market.
The Tavern is a veritable landmark for LGBTI people in London and sometimes thought of as a rite of passage for young people.
It has recently changed hands a number of times, and now the owners of the veteran pub, German real estate firm Immovate, are putting it back on the market for a reported £4.1 million.
Amy Lamé, a comedian and leader of a burlesque troupe that sometimes perform at the pub, was been quoted in the Evening Standard as saying the current owner. ‘We got it listed, but the foreign company that owns it is selling,’ she said.
The preservation group RVT Future announced in September on its Facebook group the pub was being sold, ‘the truth is that the Tavern isn’t safe yet.’
Earlier this year RVT became a Grade II listed building, which means it cannot be destroyed or altered without special permission. London mayor Sadiq Khansaid he would protect it.
Recently the pub has changed hands a number of times to prevent its closure. Reportedly, this is because of making a loss – but patrons of the pub have disputed this.
RVT Future have said they’re working toward bringing the pub into ‘community ownership’. Meanwhile, Spearmint Rhino, a chain of strip clubs targeting straight men, is said to be another prospective buyer.
The pub has a colorful history. The recent film Absolutely Fabulous shot scenes there, and Princess Diana is said to have dressed up as a drag queen to enjoy a night out with Freddie Mercury in disguise.
Gay Star News has reached out RVP Future and Spearmint Rhino for comment.