With Will & Grace and Queer as Folk set to return to our screens, 2017 looks to be the year of the gay comeback; but could that same be true for Vauxhall’s gay scene? Wayne Shires (the man behind East Bloc) is set to open up a sister venue south of the river: Bloc South. It’ll be the first gay venue to open in London for years, and will reside in what used to be Club 65. Well it can’t be any worse than that dive, right?!
With a string of successful clubs under his belt, Shires has a good shot at filling a gap in the market. And 65 is a cute venue as it goes. Although girl, as fun as it was doing Vauxhall the first time round, I honestly don’t think I have enough nasal tissue to go through it all again.
Shires fought for a 5am license, against those opposing it’s opening, citing Lambeth’s “Hours Policy” (which currently sees clubs closing at 2am). But Shires managed to gain support from the local residents, Fancis Taylor Building and Lord Brian Paddick.
“The sub-committee will be aware of trends in the LGBTQ community in recent years including the closing of many LGBTQ venues in London in general and South London in particular,” Paddick said.
‘There has also been a move to arranging to meet people ‘online’ with the inherent dangers associated with not meeting in a neutral location first.
‘In my opinion, there is a real need for ‘safe spaces’ for members of the LGBTQ community to meet and socialize and I believe Wayne’s application is timely and desirable.”
Shires added: ‘There are thousands of venues in London but what venues can a boy walk in with a beard, covered in glitter, wearing a jockstrap dance on the bar in heels? It’s important we are a safe playground.What I remember growing up is that I loved going out and feeling part of a family. And I think it’s really important to help the legacy of what has come before, to go forward.”
AMEN. It’s about time someone opened a new gay venue – and in South!