Popular Joburg gay bar and nightclub, Risqué Lounge, will re-open on Wednesday after being shut down in a police raid last Friday.

According to owner Bruce Walker, the venue was ordered to close when the authorities were unsatisfied with the copy of its liquor license presented to them and demanded the original, which was not on the premises.

Walker said that on Saturday he was unable to source the original license held by the club’s lawyers as they were on leave. This resulted in Risqué hosting a party at the nearby Casablanca venue for the night instead of at its usual home.

He told Mambaonline that the document was now in his possession and would be kept on the premises. He said that Risqué “will be open from this Wednesday as usual, and everything is back to normal. We’re back on track.”

The venue was raided by police in an operation reportedly targeting numerous nightclubs and bars in the Johannesburg area on Friday.

Walker believes that the action was not specifically targeted at the gay community as the majority of venues affected by the raids were straight clubs and bars.

He added that the police officers involved in the raid generally behaved professionally and that there were no significant incidents of homophobia.

“They were fine. They told us to turn the music off and asked people to leave slowly,” said walker.

The authorities have been cracking down on liquor license infringements across the city during the festive season.

Simply Blue nightclub was shut down in a police raid on New Year’s Eve. According to owner Jerome Camp, this was for not complying with a recent minor change to the law which he said was not communicated to the club.

Gayspeak reported that gay sauna The Rec Room was also raided by police who ordered that all alcohol be removed from the premises until the venue’s liquor license is in order.

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