Canterbury’s only gay bar closes
The only gay bar in Canterbury, a city which was condemned by a local Pride group for not being gay enough, has closed.
CO2 was opened six months ago on King Street but is closing because of a lack of business.
Darren Bister, co-owner of the pub, told Kent News: “We are closing because it is just not very successful at the moment. It is a waste of time, a waste of our work and a waste of money.
He said the local gay community had not supported the bar but added he did not believe homophobia was an issue.
Blister said: “Anything here would get complaints no matter what venue it is. The locals don’t want anything here full stop.”
But Pride in Canterbury chairman Andrew Brettell blamed the council for not supporting the venture.
He said: “Until the council sends out a clear message that it is okay for the gay community to be out and proud in the city businesses and ventures that strive to serve and build up that community will find it difficult to succeed.
“The city’s many homophobes must think Christmas has already arrived.”
The Pride group had complained that the local council was unwilling to promote a “thriving LGBT community” and accused it of ignoring their complaints.
It had asked for a gay bar, an LGBT community drop-in centre and regular celebration of LGBT culture in the city.
The council refuted the group’s claims, saying it has funded various gay events and was not responsible for setting up a gay bar in the city.
The Local Government Ombudsman rejected the complaints in June, saying the council had invited the group to provide details of LGBT events which could be held in the city.