A NIGHTCLUB boss will close his venue for the final time this weekend after admitting defeat in supermarket booze price wars.
Darab Rezai took over Zeus club, in Hartlepool’s Whitby Street, back in 2011 and says he has pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into the venue to make it a success.
But with cheap booze available at supermarkets, Mr Rezai has found people are preferring to stay at home rather than going out and will reluctantly close for the last time when Saturday night revellers head for home.
Mr Rezai said: “The cheap drink at the supermarkets has killed us.
“I took over the building when it closed down under the name of Chicago Rock over three years ago.
“I’ve spent a few hundred thousand pounds on the building to keep it in a good state of repair and glory, but sadly it has fallen victim to cheap drink prices from the supermarkets.
“I’ve put around £750,000 into that building.
“My aim was to open a venue in Hartlepool, withoutstanding lighting and sound system in a safe environment, and to bring in top DJs, live bands and good entertainment.
“Over the last three years Zeus has brought a lot of top international DJs as well as supporting local DJs.
“But we just aren’t getting the numbers through the door to keep it open.
“Pubs are open later, which hasn’t helped us, but in my opinion it is the drinks offers at the supermarkets which has had the biggest effect on us.
“I have to pay staff, lighting, DJs, doorstaff, it is an expensive business to run.
“But it has reached the stage where we couldn’t keep it going. I can’t keep throwing money at it.”
Mr Rezai owns the building, and is now looking for investment in the hope that it doesn’t fall into a state of disrepair.
He added: “There are too many eyesores in the town which have bene left standing empty, like the Wesley, or the Odeon.
“This is a beautiful listed building, it’s full of character and potential.
“Maybe it could be a hotel, or flats, or a soft play area with a kitchen area? There are lots of uses, and I am open to offers about what it could be used for in the future.
“I don’t intend to strip it down and rip all the fixtures and fittings out as soon as we close the doors at the weekend.
“But I am thinking about the long-term future of it rather than just a short-term plan which is going to fizzle out a few months down the line.”