An Irish bar operator is breathing new life into a former Newcastle nightclub, creating 30 new North East jobs.
Bambu in the Bigg Market closed a year ago when owners PBR went into administration, after being a popular nighttime venue for more than 10 years.
Now Hathor Inns, based in Northern Ireland, is investing £750,000 into the site to transform it into its first North East outlet of Filthy McNasty’s, an offbeat and lively bar and club which has already proved popular in London, Belfast and Nottingham.
An opening date has yet to be confirmed but the firm said it will start serving “in the coming months”.
The chain is renowned for its quirky decor, which includes mismatched furniture, kitsch props, mannequins doubling as tall lamps and vintage vinyls to cover walls.
The firm said its Belfast operation – known as The Filthy Quarter – is bucking the trend in a stagnant pub and club industry, making the time ripe to focus on the North East.
A spokesman said: “The Filthy Quarter, Belfast, has grown from strength to strength. Initially employing only six staff the growth of The Filthy Quarter now means we are proud to employ a dynamic staff of 70.
“The venue has a strong emphasis on live music and offers a platform for upcoming musicians and we have taken the winning formula of Filthy McNastys Belfast and replicated it to create successful venues in London and Nottingham.
“Both Filthy’s London and Nottingham are filling a niche in the market; offering an alternative setting, great live music, and unconventional entertainment. The company now believes this is the perfect time to focus on mainland UK.
“With a vibrant student population and bustling nightlife that has undergone a huge redevelopment in the last 20 years, we believe Newcastle to be the perfect setting for the next Filthy’s.”
Unconventional entertainment at the forthcoming Bigg Market venue could include boxing.
The company submitted a licence application to Newcastle City Council this summer detailing how it could host film screenings, karaoke booths and semi-professional boxing events, which would be run in association with local promoters.
Sarah Smith, partner and head of licensing at Sintons, who is working with the company, said: “This is another example of a leisure operator based outside of the region choosing to set up a base here, bringing new jobs and investment to the North East.
“Newcastle is a thriving city which has recently seen – and will continue to see over the coming months – the opening of several new venues which add significantly to its renowned leisure scene.”