Gentrification has claimed yet another queer space. Following in a series of disheartening closures in recent years, including Madame Jojo’s, The George and Dragon, The Black Cap, The Joiners’ Arms and Barcode, Old Compton Street’s Molly Moggs has shut its iconic doors for the last time.
The bar is known to be a historical haven for drag, with many drag fans travelling far and wide in a ritual of queer pilgrimage. For drag queens, Moggs’ stage was make or break for their careers on the gritty London scene. A performance on the venue’s cramped and sweaty stage was a social catalyst for the cabaret queens of yesteryear.
In a Facebook post that no one saw coming, the venue explained that it came with a heavy heart to deliver the news.
“Unfortunately today we say goodbye to the Molly Moggs that we’ve all loved for many years,” the post wrote. “We can’t thank our loyal customers and our new customers enough for sticking with us through the thick and thin and making it such a valuable part of Soho.”
“Who knows what the future hold for god old Molly’s but for now there will be no singing drag queens at Molly Moggs. Once again, thank you from all of us. The queens, the management, the staff and the owners.”
Due to restrictions on the license, it is likely to remain a restaurant, café, pub or bar. However that is no guarantee that it will remain a bar for the LGBT+ community.