Councillors launch bid to re-open drag venue Madame JoJo’s
Labour councillors have launched a bid to save iconic Soho drag and cabaret club Madame JoJo’s from being demolished.
The popular London venue closed its doors for good last month, in the latest blow to London’s gay scene.
Documents released by Westminster Council report that 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 night ‘Tranny Shack UK’ for a number of years – had its license revoked following the incident, and its appeal against the decision rejected.
However, Westminster Council’s Labour group have warned against allowing the club to be demolished and redeveloped – and are calling for it to be re-licensed under responsible new owners.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, who leads the council’s Labour group, said: “There is precious little left of what made Soho unique.
“There is no need for more burger bars, pizza places and bland restaurants – there are plenty of these a few minutes away in the rest of the West End.
“Madame Jojo’s is a unique part Soho where new and established bands and solo artists play (many established bands played some of their first gigs here).
“Its club nights are different and imaginative and it’s one of the only bars with a 3am license every night of week.
“Westminster Council should not let Madame Jojo’s die, but should do all it can to keep this unique Soho venue live on under new management.”
Earlier this week, stars including Idris Elba, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul O’Grady signed an open letter calling for Mayor Boris Johnson to voice support for Soho.