Coventry’s leading LGBTQ+ venue is set to move into a new home in the city centre after an 18-month search.
The Yard, which has been one of the city’s most popular destinations since it opened in 2017, is all set to move 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.
The move is set to 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.
“This will not only mean we have a new venue which our community will love, but will provide up to 20 new jobs in the hospitality sector.
“This is such an exciting time for The Yard and we’re thrilled to have finally secured our new home.”
The Yard opened in June 2017 and was one of the first LGBTQ+ venues in Coventry in around 20 years.
It has not only provided a bar and nightclub for the community, but has also been an important base for Coventry Pride and regularly holds coffee mornings and other get-togethers.
Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, approached Richard when he heard The Yard was in the market for a new venue.
He 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.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said: “This is great news. The former Drapers’ Bar is a really much-loved building and it’s great that it will be thriving again. This is also good news for Historic Coventry Trust and for the many people that love The Yard.”
To mark its upcoming move, The Yard is reducing all drinks prices throughout January to their original amounts when the venue first opened.