A famous gay pub and cabaret venue hopes to reopen offering bed and breakfast accommodation.

The Black Cap pub was once a popular LGBTQ+ venue in Camden High Street but closed abruptly in April 2015 after the owners were refused permission to turn the upper floors into flats.

Campaigners have fought for years to reopen the pub, and a new planning application submitted to Camden Council has offered hope that the almost decade-long closure will soon come to an end.

According to planning documents, the venue would still be used for cabaret performances and as a dance club.

With a history dating back to the 18th century, the pub eventually became best known for attracting high-profile drag acts, including Paul O’Grady in the late 1970s.

It was at The Black Cap that O’Grady’s drag persona Lily Savage made her debut.

The new plans would see the venue largely retained in its current form, with minor changes proposed to the venue’s internal configuration.

On the ground floor, plans include creating a unisex toilet at the back of the stage, and a dressing room for performers with a private toilet and shower.

The upper two floors of the building would then be used as accommodation space for performers who might otherwise not be able to stay in London and staff.

The second floor kitchen would be moved to the first floor to make space for an extra bedroom.

When the rooms are not being used by performers or staff, they would be offered to paying guests as overnight accommodation.

The plans claim this would help support the pub’s income, ensuring the venue attracts “high-profile and ‘up and coming’ acts” while protecting its long-term viability and future.

The Black Cap Community, which campaigns for the pub to reopen, said on Facebook that the plans were a “really positive step”.

They urged people to look at the proposals on Camden Council’s planning portal, under reference 2023/5228/P.

Comments can be made on the application until February 3.

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