Chariots Spa – the popular gay sauna chain based in London – is in the process of liquidation amidst the ongoing covid pandemic.
The chain had gone from six venues at the peak of their popularity to just one by 2020, and now the final branch based in Vauxhall hang up its cum-stained knickers too.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our customers and to the gay community as a whole for supporting us and making the company a success for many years,” a rep wrote via Facebook.
It’s the end of an era for many and we expect Phillipe Giovanni will read the eulogy.
A former staff member wrote on Twitter:
“Saunas such as Chariots had provided a safe space for gay men pre-covid for countless years. Whatever your feelings are towards saunas, I think we can all safely say that it’s gonna be a huge loss for the London community.
“All queer-owned businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially those who cannot operate under certain guidelines. Unfortunately, Chariots was under those restrictions, and has not opened since March 18th.”
We predict that the use of outdoor cruising spaces will skyrocket as lockdown restrictions ease (and the weather gets warmer). Unless they begin policing them, there’s no way to prevent them being used, and their outdoors… which is how we’re better off “socialising”, right?