The Gold Bar re-opens, again

Stoke Newington Church Street is a fairly busy thoroughfare with shops that do a good trade, but there are one or two buildings that seem to keep falling through the net. One is the Gold Bar, at least that was its most recent incarnation, which was open for less than a year before shutting last year after, apparently, a fire.

I noticed while having a pint at the Lion on Tuesday that it is due to become the Baby Bathouse, after its alma mater in the City. So we can all expect nipple tassels and pasties with our pasties in terms of food and drink on offer.

UPDATE: The Hackney Citizen carried the story in the same edition of this month’s paper that reported how Hackney council has banned strip clubs and sex shops in the borough, while allowing those that exist to stay open. Actual sex establishments, ie saunas, massage parlours and the like will be unaffected. Hmmm. So, establishments that allow women to charge for getting naked will be banned while the Baby Bathhouse and it’s ilk, where people pay to see women getting naked, open without comment.

This is sadly typical of the vastly irrational, tribal and ultimately harmful debate that surrounds what have become wrongly known as ‘sex encounter establishments‘, and the result is rarely anything than pointless gesture politics, Victorian throwback morality policing and, all too often, increased danger or even harm for the women working in the industry. The rise of burlesque as a supposedly acceptable alternative only serves to highlight how reasoned argument flies out the door the moment the bras come off.