A campaign to save the oldest gay pub in Wales has failed. The owners, Mitchells and Butlers, have confirmed that they are going to turn Cardiff’s 137-year-old Kings Cross into a gastropub this summer.
Campaign leader, Layton “Percy” Jones said of the owners’ plans, “This place holds a lot of memories for a lot of people. It’s awful”.
Jones organised a petition last year, which was signed by over 2000 people. It demanded that the Cardiff pub keep its gay identity and was presented to the company’s directors.
The campaign was supported by star rugby player Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, and Rodney Berman, Cardiff council’s gay leader.
Pub regular Steven Van Der Lammie said of the pub, “It’s a vital part of the gay community not only in Cardiff but in Wales as a whole, with great historical importance for gay rights.
“It’s one big family where everyone is welcome, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation”.
Mitchells and Butlers spokesman, Andrew Roache, promised that the £1 million refurbishment would be “sympathetic” to the pub’s historic significance. He said, “We are aware that many people have fond memories of the Kings Cross, but it is clear the business is no longer sustainable as a late-night drinking venue”.
Photo © Rex Features.