The oldest and only remaining gay bar in Reading, England has closed following, a lengthy and acrimonious rent review and lease renewal with the landlord, Star Pubs.
A statement from the venue’s management on the Wynford Arms’ website placed the blame of the closure on high costs and rent increases from the pub’s owner Star Pubs to a “completely unrealistic level,” amongst other factors including the smoking ban and social media.
The Wynford was the last remaining LGBT space in Reading after The Rising Sun closed in 2014. The Wynford is described as opening in October 1992 and “been there for the community 365 days a year since”.
The cost of the battle has strained the management leaving the business reportedly in a poor financial position. Management also blamed, “the smoking ban, cheap supermarket alcohol, changes in people’s drinking habits, the increasing use of social media to meet people and the fact gay people generally feel comfortable drinking in many more establishments in Reading than used to be the case.”
The Wynford has its last party on the 28th May.