The Queen’s Head, a pioneering gay-friendly pub in Tryon Street, served its last drink on Wednesday (September 7) after management were unable to agree on terms of a new lease , despite protests from customers.
But a spokesperson for the owner of the freehold has told getwestlondon that a pub would remain on the site following extensive refurbishment of the property.
Dorinda Montgomery is one of those leading a campaign for the pub . She said the closure would have a big impact. She said: “This is tearing the heart out of the community and I don’t know what we are going to do this Saturday.”
But planning regulations state a licenced property must remain on the site, and a spokesperson for the freeholder of the pub moved to reassure Queen’s Head customers.
Closure 'result of years of under-performance'
He said: “Unfortunately the temporary closure of the Queen’s Head is a result of the pub under-performing financially for a number of years and the leaseholder being unable to meet its financial obligations.
“Although the Queen’s Head is due to close shortly, the owner of the freehold is fully committed to retaining a public house on the site.
"The freeholder is committed to working closely with residents, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and other interested parties in order to create an enhanced offer which will appeal to all sections of the local community and ensure the continuation of a pub on the site.”
Among those to hit out at the closure was Downtown singer Petula Clark. She wrote on the Save the Queen’s Head Chelsea Facebook page: “This wonderful old pub is an essential part of Chelsea , heart and soul. It would be too sad to see it go.”
Ms Montgomery also said: “It’s heartbreaking that it’s going to close. It means a lot to us. Its a place I can go to and know I will find a friend there.
"It’s very diverse with gay people and straight people.”