Portsmouth nightclub owners disappointed as reopening date pushed back by government

NIGHTCLUB owners in Portsmouth are disappointed that they will have to wait even longer to properly reopen their doors.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 5:42 pm

Since indoor dining returned, nightclubs throughout the city have instead doubled up as a bar to ensure revenue comes in.

But as the government announces that the full return of nightclubs will be postponed as the Covid-19 roadmap is delayed, owners have voiced their disappointment.

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Owner Steve Kingsley at Kingsleys beer garden. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Astoria in Guildhall Walk is a popular nightclub for students and locals alike, but in recent weeks has been operating as a bar instead.

Owner Alistair Ritchie says he feels let down by the government announcement, having already made arrangements for June 21.

He said: 'I am a bit disappointed, to tell the truth. At the start of all this we were told that the vaccine would signal the end of these lockdowns – and now our full reopening has been put on hold once again.

'As an industry I don't think we were ready to be closed for so long. We have extra door and bar staff, got drinks all stocked up and had acts lined up so that makes it even more frustrating.

'We have been really well-supported by people in Portsmouth – the bar is full on most evenings – but we're a nightclub first and foremost, and desperately want to get back to that.'

But Kingsley's owner, Steve Kingsley, admitted that he misses having a dance on the nightclub floor, but added that the government guidelines must be followed.

He said: 'Things have been difficult, to say the least.

'We are meant to be a nightclub with people dancing and having a good time, and yet here we are serving drinks to tables, it just doesn't feel right.

'But there's not a lot we can do about this – we just have to get on with things as they are, and hope we can reopen properly in a few weeks' time.

'We have to trust that those in government know what they're doing.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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