Gay Couple Accuse Leeds Bar Of Homophobia

Jake’s Bar & Still Room on Call Lane, Leeds, has been accused of homophobic behaviour after two gay men were refused entry.

Patrick Hannon, 30, and Jake Archer, 25, who are both from Newcastle, tried to visit the bar on the 24th March at about 10pm.

Bouncers at the bar, which runs parallel to Leeds’ gay village, allegedly turned them away due to the fact they were not a “mixed-sex couple”.

Mr Hannon subsequently took to TripAdvisor to complain:

“Tried to visit Jakes bar tonight. I have been here before with no problem but tonight I went to the venue with my boyfriend,” he wrote.

“I was told they were only letting mixed couples in and so were turned away. The bouncer had no regard for the fact we were a same sex couple. I would have understood if we were in a large group of males but it was just the two of us. This is totally not acceptable in my eyes”

This is not the first incidence of complaints regarding homophobic door policies at the bar. In December, another TripAdvisor user wrote:

“The bouncer literally said we weren’t allowed in because there were “too many men” inside and when I questioned why he let 3 lads in straight after telling us that he barred us??”

On 7th May last year, another user also wrote:

This is a terrible bar, there always seems to be some reason for not really getting in. This time I was with my partner (gay male) and we were refused entry for not being in a mixed couple!”

He went on to state that “the bouncer was extremely rude after I pointed this out and referred to us as puffs!”

Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, has stated that door policy “invariably discriminates” against LGBT+ people.

He has written a letter to the manager of the bar, signed also by Headingley Councillor, Jonathon Pryor.

The letter states that the policy “implies certain individuals are somehow less valuable as patrons”, continuing that “this is deeply offensive to LGBT+ individuals who have fought for many years to live their lives openly and to break down the barriers of homophobia and prejudice they face.”

The bar said it is reviewing the situation and Paul Lane, director of Jake’s Bar, has issued the following statement:

“A diverse and mixed crowd is fundamental to creating a great atmosphere in any bar, which is why it is our policy to welcome customers of all sexual orientation, races, genders, religions and cultures.

“We have been operating for 12 years and have many regular customers who identify with LGBTQIA+ communities and they are always welcomed with the same level of excellent and open customer service that we always strive for.

“Our door team’s number one priority at all times is to create a safe environment for all our patrons and a guest’s sexual orientation would never and has never been a determining factor as to whether they would be permitted entry into the bar.

“Like most venues in Leeds, our door team is provided by an external supplier and we have launched an investigation into what happened on the night with the external door team.

“As soon as we became aware of the situation we privately reached out to the individuals who made the complaint to fully resolve this matter.”

More to follow.

Polly Hatcher

(Image: Holborn Mag)