Another of Melbourne’s gay nightlife staples is to close along the once bustling Commercial Rd gay strip.
Heavens Door will shut its doors after seven years following an announcement by the founder and owner of the Heavenly Ten group, Brian Frewin, that he’ll be “hanging up his heels”.
Frewin has been at the helm of a number of LGBTI businesses since arriving in Melbourne more than 17 years ago, including the Heaven @ 151 cafe, Heavens Door, the Heavenly Solutions salon and sex-on-premises venue Ten Plus.
Heavens Door (147 Commercial Rd) has been purchased by Chapel St venue owners with a long history in running venues in the local area, according to Frewin. They plan a major renovation and a relaunch that he believes will probably coincide with the re-opening of The Market next door.
Heavens Door will remain open for the next few weeks until the new owners take over. There’s no word on whether it will remain a gay or straight venue.
Ten Plus, located across the road at 59 Porter St, has also been sold. Frewin said it was always part of his retirement plan to cash in the site.
The Ten Plus business (now renamed 10 Plus Cruise Club) will continue to operate under Frewin’s ownership for at least another six months and potentially for up to another 18 months while the developers seek council approval for its redevelopment.
Frewin said he is also currently considering options to relocate the business when the developers move in, but was not confident of council approval.
The 25-year-old Xchange gay bar also closed in 2011, but was soon reopened as DnM.
Frewin thanked staff, past and present, for their hard work and dedication, and patrons for their ongoing support.
“Without the support of the community these businesses would not have been so successful,” he said.
Farewell events are currently being planned with details to be announced shortly.