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A leading gay bar on Soho’s Old Compton Street has received a paltry one-star hygiene rating by Westminster Council. Inspectors visited the venue in November 2021 and found that two ice machines were infested with mould and bacteria. Following further enquiries by the inspectors, staff admitted to not having checked the water filtration system for five years.

In addition to the problems with the ice machines, inspectors also noted that fruit flies were congregating in and around the sink in the basement.

In their report, Westminster’s inspectors commented, “There were two ice-making machines located on the third floor which were heavily soiled with mould, limescale, sediments and possible bacteria within the inside compartment of the machine. Your water filtration system connected to both of the machines had not been serviced since 2017.

“Bacteria that can cause serious harm to humans are able to survive in ice cubes and bacteria such as Salmonella, E Coli and Norovirus plus many other illnesses could occur from ingesting dirty or contaminated ice.”

G-A-Y’s daytime manager, Keiron Joy, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service confirmed that the machines in question were mouldy but that they were not in use at the time of the inspection, adding that the bar had recently purchased a new machine. Mr Joy added that the fruit flies had been found in an area of the basement which was some distance away from any stock and that the sink and surrounding areas had since been disinfected.

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