London’s LGBTI bar The Black Cap won a major victory as the plan to turn into a mainstream bar/restaurant has failed.
Campaigners have been hoping to reclaim one of London’s oldest LGBTI spaces and have repeatedly protested outside to stop the conversion of the venue by property developers.
Ruth & Robinson, a venture-capital company, had hoped to turn the site into a mainstream bar and eatery called Hollenbecks.
However, just months before signing a 25-year lease on the site, it turns out to be more trouble than it was worth.
Ruth & Robinson managing director Sarah Weir told the Camden New Journal: ‘We are unfortunately going to have to take our investors and their money, and my time and energy, and invest it somewhere else.’
It comes after cafe-restaurant chain, The Breakfast Club, also gave up on its plans to add the Black Cap site to its portfolio in 2015.
LGBTI rights campaigners are now working with Camden council and new investors to reopen the site in line with its heritage.
‘It’s a challenge, all right. But also a great opportunity. And the Black Cap campaign – like many other campaigns for queer, alternative and grassroots venues around the world – has repeatedly shown that it has the passion and the firepower for the job,’ Black Cap campaigner Ben Walters said.
‘When it comes to defending our history, our community and the places we call home, we simply won’t give in.
‘Just ask Ruth & Robinson.’