London-based restaurant chain Balans is selling all seven of their locations off to the highest bidder by this Friday.
Originally a sandwich shop in 1987 on Old Compton street, in the heart of Soho, Balans has always catered for LGBT people, so it comes as another blow to the community who have lost a number of beloved venues in recent years. Now their two plots on that street, along with those at Ealing, Victoria, Kensington, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford are up for lease.
Speaking to The Caterer, Morris Greenberg, managing director of CDG Leisure, the company marketing the deals, said: “I haven’t had bids yet but people will be gearing up for that this week. As for the amount, I’ve got no idea. Pre-Covid these sites would have gone for serious money.”
Balans had become a staple for many queer identities in London, whether it was the 2-hour BOGOF cocktails back in the day, or grabbing a drunken burger at 2am after a bar.