Gay bar goes straight

A GAY bar in Sunderland city centre sparked a furore after announcing it was going straight.

Now, owners of the venue want punters to know their doors are open to everyone – regardless of their sexuality.

Retox, in High Street West, opened in January, claiming to be the city's only 100 per cent gay-owned and gay-operated venue.

Assistant manager Carl Lovett said: "After a few months business started to dwindle and they decided to make it more mainstream."

A banner was put up outside the pub which stated: "Retox under new management! Now straight! Top totty dancers on match days".

While managers at the venue say no harm was intended, some messsages were left on gay Internet chat rooms, claiming the banner was offensive.

One person was so upset by it they called the police.

No laws appear to have been broken by the sign, but the owners of the club have apologised to anyone they might have upset.

Mr Lovett, 22, said: "We are not a homophobic bar, we still run a gay night on Sunderland's unofficial gay night, which is a Tuesday."

"My question has always been why do we need say if we are a gay bar or a straight bar, really we have an open door policy and everyone is welcome."

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