Another LGBT+ bar has said it is to close after trading in 2020 became unsustainable due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the government to try and curb the rising infections.

Eden Bar in the heart of Birmingham‘s gay village wrote an emotional goodbye post on social media saying that it was closing with its last day of trading on the 24th October.

The owners outlined how the government’s response to the pandemic had stretched many businesses, like theirs, beyond their limits, saying,

“Like many small businesses, 2020 has stretched Eden beyond belief. A reduced capacity to 25% then further reduced to 10% under Region Tier 2, heavy staff costs due to the ongoing changing government guidelines, the recent 10 pm curfew and an imminent Region Tier 3 lockdown, has meant we have decided to bite the bullet, making this drastic commercial decision.”

Closures across the Midlands due to COVID

Eden had hoped that 2020 would be its most successful year to date and had plenty of events planned, which all had to be cancelled. It had also opened a new venue called Sherlocks in Blackpool, which they have had to “inject finance into… in order to stay afloat, despite adapting to the “new normal”

Eden is not the only Midland’s LGBT business which has had to close. Very early on, Nottingham’s last LGBT+ nightclub, Propaganda shut and last month, Midlands Zone, the region’s LGBT print media also closed its doors.

Advertisements

Hope on the horizon

The statement, however, did state that the owners would be looking for new premises. They continued,

“Our focus now is to look to the future with positive eyes, and wait for the pandemic to calm, albeit months. It has always been our long term plan to find alternative premises, therefore, once the pandemic calms, we will be taking active measures, looking for other premises in Birmingham, which we feel would be suitable for a ‘New Eden’

“What is important, is that Eden’s closure is not clouded by COVID but instead, is celebrated for its fantastic atmosphere and countless acts and events, which have graced Eden over the last 13 years”.

Read the full statement here:

After careful consideration, it is with great sadness that we have to announce, Eden will be closing its doors for business, on Saturday 24th October 2020, at 10 pm. Like many small businesses, 2020 has stretched Eden beyond belief. A reduced capacity to 25% then further reduced to 10% under Region Tier 2, heavy staff costs due to the ongoing changing government guidelines, the recent 10 pm curfew and an imminent Region Tier 3 lockdown, has meant we have decided to bite the bullet, making this drastic commercial decision.

Understandably, the fear of COVID is apparent, despite huge efforts to ensure a safe environment, making current conditions none financially viable. 2020 was set to be our best year, with many new events booked, the planned closure of Lower Hurst Street for “The Eden Pride Street Party” and the opening of Sherlock’s Blackpool. Instead of this anticipated bumper year, each week we have had to inject finance into the business in order to stay afloat, despite adapting to the “new normal”, being at full capacity and having to refuse entry. We have all worked so hard to try and make it work, but it is now apparent, we can no longer sustain this form of attack, without jeopardising Eden’s long term future.

Even today’s government announcement is just too little too late. Sadly, now we have to remove emotion and let common-sense prevail. We can only give so much until there’s nothing left to give. Our focus now is to look to the future with positive eyes, and wait for the pandemic to calm, albeit months. It has always been our long term plan to find alternative premises, therefore, once the pandemic calms, we will be taking active measures, looking for other premises in Birmingham, which we feel would be suitable for a “New Eden”.

It is not the bricks and mortar which makes Eden so special. Its a collection of people including our customers, fantastic staff, DJs, entertainment and those who work behind the scenes which share our vision. It is this vision which we believe can be transferred to another venue, once the pandemic calms.

We see this as an opportunity to take stock of the business and come back stronger and fighting fit. In short, Sherlock’s will still go ahead next year, hopefully, once government guidelines are relaxed. For Eden, as stated, our plan is to look for alternative premises in Birmingham and re-establish, once we are in a position to.

Putting the breaks on now will give us the opportunity to do this, protecting the Eden brand and future business, instead of trading at below breakeven using additional finance as a crutch, putting our long term future at risk. What is important, is that Eden’s closure is not clouded by COVID but instead, is celebrated for its fantastic atmosphere and countless acts and events, which have graced Eden over the last 13 years.

Too many to mention individually, but we’re sure you all have your favourites, along with fond memories. We would like to thank all our staff, DJs, entertainment, community groups and customers, in particular those whom have continued to support Eden post lockdown, when we needed you most.

We look forward to welcoming you all back once we are in a position to, along with the opening of Sherlock’s Blackpool next year. So please watch this space for our next chapter. Tickets for our final night will go on sale tonight at 7.30 pm. To open the night we have the fantastic Fanny Burns. There is however only one person who can close this current era, and that’s the fabulous La voix.