Kingsley's in Southsea to re-open as bar with beer garden and pizza from Circolo in Osborne Road
A NIGHTCLUB in Southsea has undergone a £5,000 refurbishment – to reopen as a bar with a beer garden and pizza deliveries from a nearby restaurant.
Kingsley’s in Osborne Road closed on March 16 ahead of the nationwide lockdown.
But now it is set to reopen this month after installing new furniture to accommodate both indoor and outdoor table service.
The bar will also be working with Circolo Pizza, a few doors down in Osborne Road, to allow patrons have pizzas delivered directly to their table.
The decision to reopen as a bar was a matter of survival, according to owner Steve Kingsley.
The 71-year-old, who founded the club in 2008, said: ‘We weren't planning on reopening because we are a nightclub normally.
‘But we need to survive.
‘I think the government has a really difficult job, but in terms of nightclubs, there hasn’t been any support aside from the business grants and the furlough scheme.
‘That's why we have reopened and had to completely change what we're about.’
Despite receiving a £25,000 grant from the government, the cost of the lockdown has caused Kingsley’s to cut more than half its staff – going from 20 members before lockdown to eight employees.
Steve said: ‘It’s been awful. We are a family business. We love the staff and the community.
‘The change is about us fighting for survival.
‘We have told the staff who have been let go they will be the first to be called if things change.’
The change has also seen the venue slash its capacity – with room for 100 patrons compared to the nightclub’s usual 250.
But reaction on social media has already been promising, according to Steve.
He said: ‘The response from people online has been really positive.’
Kingsley’s will reopen at 7pm on Friday, July 31.
The bar will be open from 7pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Steve added: ‘We hope to change back to a nightclub eventually. ‘
Landlord Stonegate did provide a rent credit, which has been spent on renewing stock.