'Classy' Hanley nightspot aims to raise the bar
A ONCE-POPULAR city centre nightclub is to be reopened after a £50,000 revamp.
Businessman Louis Barta has taken over the former Fluid bar, in Hanley.
The 27-year-old has re-named the Foundry Street venue Barasti and will welcome revellers for the first time on Friday.
Mr Barta, who already owns a scrapyard and recovery company, said he wanted to open a "higher class" of bar to help breathe new life into Hanley's night scene.
He said: "When we first got the building it looked like a bomb site because it had been empty for a long time.
"But I have spent a lot of money doing it up and we have completely gutted the place and started again.
"I am investing in it because I want to improve the nightlife in Hanley. I think over time a lot of the trade has gone to Newcastle because of certain perceptions of Hanley being violent.
"Now we want to turn that around and create jobs in the area for local people. We will be working closely with Staffordshire Police to make sure that we field out any troublemakers."
The bar, which has created 15 new jobs, is licensed for live music and will also hold DJ nights and special music events.
Mr Barta, from Nantwich, who bought the property for an undisclosed sum, said: "This isn't just a standard bar – we are also looking at how it could be used during the day, perhaps as a conference or meeting venue or a coffee house.
"We want to create an environment where people feel safe and can enjoy themselves."
The venue was formerly known as Fluid, then Zenn and Rush.
Jason Nixon, who owns the next-door bar The Foyer, welcomed the new addition to Hanley's night scene.
The 38-year-old father-of-two, from Blurton, said: "It used to be one big building but it has now been split into the two bars which are run separately.
"I hope it will cut out the riff-raff and appeal to the over-25s as well as couples.
"I think it will be more like the type of bars that you get in Cheshire which are more high end and people will stay in them for the night rather than going on a bar crawl."
Student Anne Ryan, aged 30, from Bucknall, said: "I usually go out in Newcastle because there's a slightly older crowd. But if there was somewhere in Hanley that was a bit more geared towards what I like, I'd consider going out there more often."
The bar will open between 9pm and 2.30am.