News - Scene

Another London sauna to close

ChariotsIt has been revealed that the Waterloo branch of Chariots Saunas is to close within the next weeks. The site has been purchased by developers who plan to turn the whole block into an upmarket hotel.

It is the last casualty in the LGBT scene of the British capital, with many venues closing their doors over the last few years. Another two branches of Chariots have alreasy closed. The flagship sauna at Shoreditch closed in 2014, while the Streatham branch closed in February 2016.

This means that Chariots Vauxhall will be left as the company’s sole remaining branch. With the continuing 'regeneration' of Vauxhall, it is not sure how long will that last branch stay open...

Last November, London Mayor Sadiq Khan appointed queer activist and Vauxhall Tavern regular Amy Lamé as night czar fopr the capital, with many people hoping that her influence will help to slow the decline of the city’s LGBT+ scene.

Another casualty on London's gay scene

Molly MoggsAnother casualty in London’s gay scene: popular Soho pub Molly Moggs closed its doors for good on Thursday, when the management suddenly announced the closure of the venue, located along Old Compton Street. 

It is unclear whether the pub, which is renowned for its Sunday drag shows and evening events, will reopen in a different location.

In an emotional goodbye post on Facebook, Molly Moggs’ management team wrote: “It comes with a heavy heart that we have to inform you all of this situation.

“Unfortunately today we say goodbye to the Molly Moggs that we've all loved for many years. For now there will be no singing drag queens at Molly Moggs.”

The Black Cap in Camden, The Joiner’s Arms in Hackney and Vauxhall’s Barcode are among other LGBT venues to close across London in recent years. Soho hotspots Shadow Lounge, Manbar, Madame Jojo’s and The Green Carnation also shut for good.

London: 3 arrested after police raid on gay clubs

VAUXThree men have been arrested in London after two Vauxhall gay clubs were raided by police last night.

The venues in question, Lightbox and Fire in Vauxhall, were raided after police received a tip-off that drugs were being sold inside the premises. Two men, including a staff member at the Lightbox, were arrested on suspicion of dealing with class 'A' drugs. A third man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

The Police inspector who carried out the operation , Lance Lamnea repeated the police’s commitment to London's night life, but insisted that anti-social behaviour must be cracked down on.

It is unclear if the tip-off came from local residents and whether the operation will have an impact on the licences pertaining to the two venues.

The Vauxhall area of London, a focus of London’s LGBT scene has recently seen a progressive ‘gentrification’, following the conversion of many former warehouses and industrial depots into luxury apartments and the construction of the new US embassy.

Berlin Sauna fire likely caused by negligence

Berlin Sauna FireIt has emerged that the blaze at the Steamworks Sauna in Berlin (formerly Apollo Splash Club) in which 3 people died on Sunday may have been caused by negligence.

German tabloid Bild reports that while the exact causes of the fire are still unclear, the police is able to exclude arson. The fire broke out in the basement of the sauna, where the private cabins were located. It has been reported that the emergency exits in this section of the venue were blocked and people had to find their way out via the upstairs exits. Unfortunately 3 of the sauna customers did not manage to escape in time and died of smoke inhalation.

Over the past few weeks, the operators Marcel M. and Timo Z. had carried out numerous rebuilding measures at the club and switched to a 24-hour operation. It is now unclear whether the sauna will ever reopen: Bild mentions that the owners of the venue had an unpaid water bill of 12,000 Euros and three outstanding monthly rents.

A fire leaves three dead at sauna in Berlin

Berlin Steam WorksDW reports that fire rescue officials on Sunday said three men died in a fire that broke out at the Steam Works sauna club in Berlin's Schoneberg.

Emergency services received the first call about the fire at 22:30 CET.

It is at this stage unclear how the fire erupted at the sauna complex, located in the basement of a 10-storey building, authorities said. Other parts of the building were not affected by the blaze, they added.

A spokesman for emergency response services said some 50 firefighters combed through the small rooms of the 2,000-square-meter club.

Nearly 30 people were at the club at the time the fire broke out.

(Image: dpa)

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