The owner of the Lush nightclub in Portrush, Co. Antrim, has announced that the venue will permanently close after 25 years of being in business.
As reported by The Irish News, the nighclub's owner, Peter Wilson, said that the venue will close due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the nightclub business model is not sustainable any longer in its current format.
Lush is part of Portrush's Kellys Complex, which includes a hotel, a caravan park, and food and drinks venues.
Travelling Events Company
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Kellys Complex is planning to invest in a revamped leisure tourism and entertainment offering in Portrush, and will retain the Lush brand as a travelling events company.
According to Wilson, some of the plans for the complex have been in the pipeline for a several years.
The Irish News quotes Wilson as saying, "What lockdown has done has sped up these plans and forced us to re-evaluate the Kellys brand in order to secure our future.
"We have always been proud of our well-known Lush brand, however, the changing times have brought about new trends.
"The nightclub business model simply isn't sustainable in its current format. The market has changed, demand is still there, but not as we knew it."
Wilson said that Kellys sees the club scene's future moving to large scale events, and that a Lush event featuring the Ulster Orchestra and DJ Roger Sanchez is currently planned to take place in Belfast's SSE Arena in October.
Wilson continued, "The area formally occupied by the club is set to be further developed, with exciting plans for the site currently being kept under wraps until a later date.
"We are weeks away from completing what will be a world-class, purpose-built outdoor entertainment space, which will also act as a community hub, providing something brand new for all ages.
"We will also soon be unveiling our further investment and summer entertainment plans which will see us unveil both daytime and evening events."
Wilson added, "Kelly's has been central to the north coast's success as an entertainment and leisure destination for over 50 years. We have always been pioneers in innovative developments, and are confident our investment plans will deliver a much-needed boom to the entire local economy, securing our long-term future as a family-run business."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.