“Oldest gay bar in Europe” loses liquor license after immigration raid

Overflowing rubbish, rats, and vermin were also allegedly found at the bar in Manchester’s Gay Village.

Canal Street Manchester’s “Gay Village”.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Napoleons in Manchester, England — said to be the oldest gay bar in Europe — has had its liquor license revoked. Authorities cited illegal workers, overflowing rubbish, blocked fire exits, and other violations as the cause.

The bar opened in 1941 and was long owned by renowned Manchester drag queen Fran Foo Foo Lamar. New owners purchased the property in 1972 and saw Manchester’s renowned Gay Village grow up around it, peaking in the 1990’s with dozens of venues and the area being nicknamed as Gaychester.

The original British version of Queer As Folk was set in Manchester and debuted in 1999.

Napoleons changed hands again in 2016, adding karaoke to the entertainment lineup and a late-night Chinese takeout restaurant.

The bar is currently owned by Napoleon HL Ltd., with company director Guixiang Liu registered as the designated premises supervisor, according to the BBC.

After testimony from Manchester authorities and the bar’s representative at a town hall licensing review hearing on Tuesday, council members voted to revoke…

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