Fears for future of £1.5m Belfast bar and nightclub complex

The Playwright Bar and Time Nightclub on Lower Crescent in Belfast
Gareth McKeown

A BELFAST student bar and nightclub could be set to close its doors less than two years after a £1.5 million investment.

There are fears over the future of the Playwright Bar and Time Nightclub on Lower Crescent after its owner 1 Oak Leisure Ireland submitted a change of use planning application for nine apartments at the site.

If successful if could mean the loss of 60 jobs at the premises, previously known as The Fly.

The development plans, submitted last month, come less than two years after 1 Oak Leisure took over the site and opened the new three-floor bar and nightclub complex in the student heartland following a £1.5m investment.

The Lower Crescent development was the group's first foray into the Belfast market, and speaking back at the launch in September 2017, 1 Oak Leisure marketing manager Laura McGillion said they were excited to be taking up residence in a "prime" student location.

"We’ve totally transformed and refurbished the entire building from top to bottom and installed a brand new state of the art sound and lighting system to ensure that Time Nightclub and the Playwright Bar can replicate the success of Time Bar and venue in Cookstown," she said.

“Belfast is vibrant and exciting, and growing in stature and reputation every day, so our intention has always been to give the city a top quality new venue that everyone will be proud of. With the opening of The Playwright Bar and Time Nightclub, I believe that we have achieved that objective."

1 Oak Leisure owns the popular Time nightclub in Cookstown, Johnny Foxes in Magherafelt as well as Rubys Nightclub and The Harp & Fiddle Bar in Strabane.

Read more: Famous John Long's chippy in Belfast wins license to sell alcohol

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: