UK

Gay bar forced to close after spate of violent incidents committed by drunk straight people

Emily Chudy July 9, 2022
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Wimbledon's first gay bar to close after man 'bottled' on the dance floor

Wimbledon's first gay bar to close after man 'bottled' on the dance floor (CMYK/Google Maps)

The owner of Wimbledon’s first gay bar said he feels “let down by the police” after a number of violent incidents have led to the venue’s closure.

MyLondon reported that the owner of Bar CMYK in Wimbledon will close the venue after its hours were cut following a number of incidents – including a man allegedly being bottled on the dance floor.

The police called for the bar’s licence to be reviewed after a number of incidents, including – the owner claims – groups of straight men attempting to enter but being turned away for being too drunk.

Merton Council’s licensing committee then ruled the bar should close at 12.30am rather than 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Steve Sotiriou, CMYK’s owner, said he will be closing the bar in two weeks, adding: “There were a few incidents, nothing to do with the gay community, many were to do with straight people.”

He claimed that police in Wimbledon did not give the venue enough help in controlling incidents inside the bar.

Sotiriou told MyLondon: “I am allowed to open for another couple of weeks. I will open it to run my stock down and as far as a gay bar is concerned, I think it’s finished.

“I feel disappointed and that I’ve been let down by the police.”

Merton Council said in a statement: “There is concerning evidence of persistent serious incidents occurring at this venue, which have not been adequately addressed or dealt with.

“Despite the steps taken, incidents have continued, including failures of security, and the arrest of a member of staff.”

The closure of CMYK comes as the future of iconic London LGBTQ+ venues G-A-Y and Heaven is uncertain, with owner Jeremy Joseph temporarily shutting G-A-Y and suggesting he could close the clubs permanently.

“I think in my heart I know what I want and will announce soon, but first I want to discuss it with managers and key people rather than them seeing it on social media,” he said in a cryptic post on Twitter.

PinkNews has contacted CMYK for comment.

More: gay bar, London

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