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Iconic London drag venue Madame JoJo’s closes after losing license

Nick Duffy November 24, 2014

London drag and cabaret club Madame JoJo’s has possibly closed for good – after its license was revoked following a “serious incident of disorder”.

According to documents released by Westminster Council, an incident took place on October 24 during which club security allegedly engaged in violent conduct, retrieving wooden baseball bats and pinning a man against a wall while a taxi driver punched him.

The venue – which hosted drag event ‘Tranny Shack UK’ for a number of years – had its license revoked following the incident – and last week had an appeal against the decision rejected.

The closure also includes bar Escape, next door.

Councillor Tim Mitchell, of Westminster City Council Licensing Committee, said: “On the 24th October, an organised assault with injury took place – involving staff from Madame JoJo’s and Escape Bar – raising serious questions about their management.

“Our licensing sub-committee has to consider the safety of the public and after considering evidence from a number of interested parties, including the police, it was concluded that the licences for both bars should be revoked.

“The fact that these events are the subject of an on-going criminal investigation tells you how serious the assault was – and also means we are unable to say any more at the moment.”

Club promoters White Heat – who also ran a night at the club – said: “As of Thursday we were informed that Madame Jojo’s has had its licence revoked by the council, rendering White Heat homeless after 10 years of Tuesday night events,

“We were assured that Madame Jojo’s would reopen after Thursday 20th November following the findings of that licence review, and we would be able to continue our Tuesday night residency as we have done for the past decade, however this has not been the case.

“The council has instead opted to revoke the venue licence.

“We have built Madame Jojo’s as a live venue around White Heat so it is completely gutting to lose our home.

“We will spend the next few weeks trying to find out where might work as a permanent home in the near future.”

The legendary San Francisco drag bar Trannyshack announced it will change its name to T-Shack earlier this year – but Tranny Shack UK rejected a change in branding.

 Disclaimer: PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen was a shareholder until 2013 in the club night Queerly Out which is/ was run from Escape, and sometimes Madame Jojo’s

More: bar, cabaret, drag, London, London, Madame JoJo's, Soho, trannyshack, UK, venue, Westminster

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