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Reading gay bar closes down and blames gay dating apps

Nick Duffy May 28, 2015
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The first gay bar in Reading has closed its doors – claiming its business has fallen on hard times partly due to the increased use of social apps in the LGBT community.

The Wynford Arms, which has served the local LGBT community for over 22 years, announced today that it would be closing its doors – citing increasing gay acceptance and “social media” as an issue.

A statement said the pub had fallen on hard times due to “the increasing use of social media to meet people and the fact gay people generally feel comfortable drinking in many more establishments in Reading than used to be the case” – as well as a number of other issues.

The message left by the pub on Facebook said: “It is with great sadness we have to announce the closure of The Wynford Arms after serving the LGBT community and its friends in Reading for the past 22 years.

“There are a number of reasons we have to make this decision but a lengthy and acrimonious rent review and lease renewal with the landlord, Star Pubs, is at the heart of why we can no longer continue.

“The Wynford was the first full-time gay pub in Reading when it opened in October 1992 and we have been there for the community 365 days a year since then.

“Unfortunately, we have had to operate without the support or co-operation of the pub company for many years.

“We fought their latest attempts to increase the rent to a completely unrealistic level and after two years an independent body found in our favour.

“Unfortunately, the high costs involved and the length of the battle has left the business in a poor financial state.

“This has meant we have been unable to invest in the pub and keep it up to date with modern trends or up to the standards of décor and comfort we would have liked.

“On top of this, we have had to deal with the adverse affects of the smoking ban, cheap supermarket alcohol, changes in people’s drinking habits, the increasing use of social media to meet people and the fact gay people generally feel comfortable drinking in many more establishments in Reading than used to be the case.

“We have enjoyed some fantastic times over the years and would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff and our loyal customers who have supported us. We are very sorry we can no longer be there for them.”

Related topics: bar, closing, England, gay bar, LGBT, pub, reading, Sexuality

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