A FORMER nightclub will be transformed into an auction room for one day only as hundreds of fixtures and fittings go under the hammer.
Zeus, in Whitby Street, closed last October after owner Darab Rezai admitted defeat in the battle with cheap drinks from the supermarkets.
Mr Rezai tried various incentives to keep the venture running, but with falling customer numbers and a change in people’s drinking habits following the introduction of late licensing, he was forced to close down with the loss of 12 jobs.
The building, which was also a nightclub under the Chicago Rock banner before being revamped as Zeus, is one of the oldest in Hartlepool and is facing an uncertain future.
In an attempt to breathe new life into the building, Mr Rezai has decided to auction off all of the fixtures and fittings and more than 500 lots ranging from bar stools to a hi-tech sound system will go under the hammer later this month.
The auction will be held in the venue.
Mr Rezai said: “It isn’t clear what the building is going to be used as next, but by stripping it out it is the next stage of trying to redevelop it.
“I was very upset when I had to close the doors, it wasn’t nice to see 12 jobs go like that. But as I said at the time, we couldn’t compete with the cheap deals offered by the supermarkets or the changes to the overall night-time economy.
“Virtually everything in there will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. We have had some enquiries from as far as Manchester or Edinburgh for our sound and lighting systems. People can come in and have a look around, and make bids on anything they fancy. The light system and sound system will be on, we will have music playing and people can see what they are getting.
“I have no idea how much the stuff will go for. The lighting and sound systems could get interest from other nightclub owners, there is furniture there which people might want, there are little signs saying ‘Zeus’ which people might want to snap up as memories of the time when they used to drink in there.
“There’s a crystal chandelier, there’s the John Travolta-style glitter balls, we have the fridges in all different sizes.
“There’s nothing in there which won’t be for sale.” The auction, which will be run by Stokesley-based specialists Lithgows, will be held on January 21 at 11am, with a viewing period due to take place from noon-4pm the day before.
Once the building is stripped, Mr Rezai will set about finding a new use for it.
He added: “I don’t want it just to be left to rot like so many other buildings in the town have.
“We have renovated the windows and decorated the two floors upstairs which haven’t been used for 25 years.
“It could be used for accommodation for students, residential units, it has a wide range of opportunities.
“We are doing our best effort to work with Hartlepool Borough Council to find a solution and future for the property, as this building is one of the oldest buildings and heritage in the Church Street area which comes under regeneration of the masterplan of Hartlepool.”