​huge rent hikes force closure of another legendary gay venue

The George and Dragon pub in Hackney will close due to rent increases.

by Nick Levine
12 August 2015, 11:07am

Legendary East End gay pub The George & Dragon is to close its doors. Landlords Richard Battye and Liliana Sanguino announced the sad news on Facebook last night, explaining that a rent increase has forced them to put their lease up for sale.

"A recent rent review has caused a dramatic increase in the cost of our lease and we don't feel we can meet the payments and keep The George & Dragon as it is so we have decided, a little earlier than intended, that now is the time to wrap things up," they wrote.

"It is possible that someone out there may have the vision and the money to keep something of the spirit going - which would be a dream," they continued. "We will be looking for a new opportunity and hope very much that some of our dear G&D fans will be able to join us on this new journey soon."

The George & Dragon, situated on Hackney Road in the heart of Shoreditch, served its first pint in December 2002 and has become an integral part of east London's LGBT scene. Alternative but friendly, with deliciously dingy decor, it's the sort of place where you can catch up with mates, or make a few new ones, while everything from lost disco classics to Sky Ferreira deep cuts play in the background.

The landlords added that they will "try to be as open as we can throughout this process" and encouraged punters to join them for a farewell drink as they say goodbye to what they described as their "beloved old pub".

The closure of The George & Dragon is the latest blow for east London's gay scene following the closure earlier this year of two other local LGBT venues, The Nelsons Head and the Joiners Arms. Thankfully, a new east London LGBT venue, The Glory on nearby Kingsland Road, managed to launch successfully in late 2014. 

the george and dragon