Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
Further fuelling claims of the homogenisation and gentrification of gay venues and areas, former LGBT pub The Black Cap is set to become another branch of trendy café The Breakfast Club. Despite opposition from campaigners, and the fact that the building is currently occupied by squatters, the founder of the café chain, Jonathan Arana-Morton, is unrepentant, insisting that the decision to close the pub was taken before they signed a contract.
In a statement on their website entitled Between a rock and a hard place, Arana-Morton emphasised the amount of support that he and he staff give to charity (‘we commit 1000s of hours a year to volunteering and tens of thousand of pounds to local charities’), and added that they will ‘offer [the] venue to local community groups and will welcome anyone and everyone.’
As So So Gay reported in April, the pub was closed abruptly without notice by former owner Faucet Inn, and was then sold to new freeholder Camden Securities. It had previously been awarded Asset of Community Value status from Camden Council, following pressure from locals and fans.
The café is set to take over the ground floor and basement, leaving the upper floors available for development, as previously planned.
I don’t think they’re in discussion – they’ve signed the contract. If they back out now, it’ll be hugely expensive for them. Maybe that’s why the owners signed them up – as a small operator, they can’t afford to pull out.
The squatters were evicted this morning, unfortunately.