Birmingham businessman relaunches Southside bar

Nightingale Club owner and businessman Lawrence Barton is set to launch a new bar in Birmingham’s Southside district.

Lawrence Barton at The Loft Lounge, in Bromsgrove Street.

Lawrence Barton at The Loft Lounge, in Bromsgrove Street.

Lawrence Barton has taken over the former Purple Bar & Lounge, in Hurst Street and is relaunching it as Queer later this month.

It is the latest acquisition for Mr Barton, and his family business GB Holdings Ltd, who rescued the Nightingale Club 10 months ago after the Kent Street venue went into administration.

Barton also runs the successful Loft Lounge, Penthouse, and Village Inn venues in Southside.

Purple Bar & Lounge closed its doors in August and will reopen on September 27 under the new name of Queer.

David Nash, group operations director for GB Holdings Ltd, said: “Some time ago we identified a gap in the market place for customers within Birmingham’s gay village.

“The acquisition of the site presents us with a unique opportunity to deliver an offer that we believe will enhance and improve the choice currently available within the gay village and Southside.”

Barton, who is also director of Birmingham Pride and sits on the Southside BID board, added: “It is my long-term aspiration to establish Birmingham as one of the UK’s leading destinations for gay customers.

“Each of the venues we run in Southside presents a strong and distinctly different offer for customers regardless of being gay or straight, however our aim with the latest venture is to reclaim the word Queer and open a venue which further enhances the variety of Birmingham’s gay village.”