DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2019.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 15 December, 2019.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

July 2009

(Name from)

CO2

Closed Dec 2009

51 King Street

Canterbury

 

This premises had a spate of name changes, none of which seemed to last long. Opened as a gay and cocktail bar in 2009, it lasted till the end of the year and then closed due to not being able to make a profit.

 

From the https://www.telegraph.co.uk 6 Jan 2010.

Canterbury's only gay bar closes.

A gay bar in Canterbury which was set up after complaints that the homosexual community was not being represented has been forced to closed because of lack of business.

Last May gay campaign group Pride condemned the Kent city saying it was a 'cultural wilderness' for not having one single gay bar and of being 'unwelcoming.'

The organisation even made a formal complaint against the council to the Local Government Ombudsman accusing it of 'not being gay enough'.

Two months after the complaint the city's first gay bar, called CO2, was opened by landlord Darren Bister. But now, just six months on, the bar is closing because of lack of business - proving the city is 'not gay enough'.

"We are closing because it is just not very successful at the moment," said Mr Blister.

"It's a waste of time, a waste of our work and a waste of money.

"We've not had the support from the community we thought we would get, so it's time to shut the doors - we've had enough."

He added: "It's a lost cause. Being gay in Canterbury is no-go."

He said other bars he owned in other areas of Kent would remain open, but said of Canterbury: "We'll not be opening another bar in Canterbury again."

Pride spokesman Andrew Bretell said the city's 'anti-gay brigade' would be celebrating.

He said: "Until the council sends out a clear signal that it's all right for the gay community to be out and proud in the city, businesses and ventures that strive to serve and build up that community will find it difficult to succeed.

"The homophobes must be celebrating."

 

From the https://www.pinknews.co.uk  6 January 2010.

Canterbury’s only gay bar closes.

The only gay bar in Canterbury, a city which was condemned by a local Pride group for not being gay enough, has closed.

CO2 was opened six months ago on King Street but is closing because of a lack of business.

Darren Bister, co-owner of the pub, told Kent News: “We are closing because it is just not very successful at the moment. It is a waste of time, a waste of our work and a waste of money.

He said the local gay community had not supported the bar but added he did not believe homophobia was an issue.

Blister said: “Anything here would get complaints no matter what venue it is. The locals don’t want anything here full stop.”

But Pride in Canterbury chairman Andrew Brettell blamed the council for not supporting the venture.

He said: “Until the council sends out a clear message that it is okay for the gay community to be out and proud in the city businesses and ventures that strive to serve and build up that community will find it difficult to succeed.

“The city’s many homophobes must think Christmas has already arrived.”

The Pride group had complained that the local council was unwilling to promote a “thriving LGBT community” and accused it of ignoring their complaints.

It had asked for a gay bar, an LGBT community drop-in centre and regular celebration of LGBT culture in the city.

The council refuted the group’s claims, saying it has funded various gay events and was not responsible for setting up a gay bar in the city.

The Local Government Ombudsman rejected the complaints in June, saying the council had invited the group to provide details of LGBT events which could be held in the city.

 

I believe the building is now owned and used by the ever expanding King's School.

 

LICENSEE LIST

BISTER Darren July-Dec/2009

 

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