The pub chain which closed a the Black Cap in Camden is in talks to buy the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Faucet Inn, which owns 11 bars in London, confirmed it was in negotiations to acquire the Grade II listed venue from property company Immovate.
Campaigners to keep the RVT as a gay performance space, nightclub and pub are warning the new company has a ‘terrible track record’ with the LGBTI community.
The RVT dates back to the 1860s. It has been a favorite with gay customers for decades.
Campaign to stop the RVT from closing
Following the RVT being bought in 2014 by Immovate, RVT Future launched a campaign to save the Tavern. It has Grade 2 listed status from Historic England, has obtained Asset of Community Value designation and ‘sui generis’ classification meaning it will prohibit the top floors from being turned into apartments.
But now, Immovate is trying to sell a controlling interest of shares in the holding company, rather than the building. This means the pub’s ownership can be transferred and the public will not be able to raise funds to ensure it remains in the community.
Faucet Inn claims if they did buy the RVT, they would look to ‘improve the existing operations’.
‘It’s a complete joke,’ Rob Holley, co-chairman of RVT Future, told Gay Star News.
Destruction of the Black Cap
‘When we heard Faucet Inn was looking to purchase, we have been completely ignored. I find it surprising he says he wants to improve the Tavern when he refuses to engage with the community.
‘What Faucet Inn did to the Black Cap in Camden is disgusting.’
When Faucet Inn took over the world-renowned gay cabaret club in north London, there was no investment whatsoever to drive down the crowds. In April 2015, when Faucet Inn failed to get planning permission to turn the top floors in flats, it was closed.
‘I have no confidence in Faucet making the RVT any better for the community when they have a track record of making it worse,’ Holley added.
You can donate to the RVT fighting fund.
GSN has contacted Immovate and realtors Christie & Co for further comment.