New home secured for Coventry LGBTQ+ venue

Richard Easter with Kieran Jones and John Dalziel of The Yard

One of Coventry’s first LGBTQ+ venues in around 20 years is set to move into a new home in the city centre after an 18-month search.

The Yard, which first opened in 2017, will relocate into the former Drapers’ Bar and Metropolis Restaurant building on Earl Street in March after a deal was completed with the building’s owners, Historic Coventry Trust.

It not only provides a bar and nightclub for the community, but also acts as a base for Coventry Pride and regularly holds coffee mornings and other get-togethers.

The move will create up to 20 jobs as The Yard looks to hire kitchen staff to incorporate food into its business model.

Richard Easter, owner of The Yard’s parent company LE Projects, had been looking for a new venue ever since a major redevelopment plan of the Bull Yard area was announced by Coventry City Council.

He said: “Our upcoming move to the former Drapers’ Bar building on Earl Street is fantastic news for us, and will give our dedicated community much-needed certainty about the future of The Yard.

“We had struggled to find a suitable venue in the city centre that met our requirements, and we were worried we may have had to close permanently.

“But when the building next to the Council House became available, we thought it would be a strong contender for us.

“It’s in a superb central location, provides better access for those with disabilities, and will allow us to serve a wider food offering – which is something we’ve wanted to provide for many years but were unable to at Bull Yard”.

Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust said: “The Yard has been a focal point for the LGBTQ+ community in Coventry for many years now, and it would have been a big loss to the city if it was unable to find a new venue.

“We were sad to hear that the Metropolis training restaurant was closing, but The Yard is a perfect replacement with its established reputation and substantial following. It will continue the positive community use of the building, with the large kitchen providing the opportunity for them to expand their food offer and daytime trade”.

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