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Carlisle bar shut after company buys lease

One of Carlisle’s best known city centre bars has closed after the entrepreneur behind it sold the lease to a new owner.

New venture: ’Bottom line is that the deal is done – otherwise I would not have closed it,’ says Mr Crooks

Ged Crooks – who was once dubbed the city’s nightlife king – said that the Cassa bar, in Botchergate, would not be allowed to stand empty.

The bar has become well known as a popular live music venue in recent years,

Mr Crooks said: “It’s all set up for another company to take over.

“The bottom line is that the deal is done – otherwise I would not have closed it. The new tenant will be spending a fair bit of money on alterations and refurbishment.

“It will offer a mixture of food and entertainment but it will be totally different,” he added.

Mr Crooks said he was not yet in a position to confirm the identity of the new lease holder but said the person already runs several successful venues at other UK locations.

“Those other venues are all working very well,” he said, though Mr Crooks hinted that he has not withdrawn from the city’s nightlife trade.

He said he had recently returned from a visit to France and he has plans to introduce a fresh concept to Carlisle which was already working well on the continent.

Mr Crooks said that the new owner would need workers and that former staff from the Botchergate bar were likely to be considered.

He expects the bar to be relaunched in the spring after alternations are completed.

Mr Crooks, who will continue to own the Cassa building, added: “Carlisle is still screaming out for a proper nightclub venue that could cater for between 600 and 800 people. So who knows that will happen in the future?”

Four years ago, Cassa was in the headlines after the man who then ran it – former trucker David Gill – gave up the business as he struggled to cope with financial woes.

He later vowed to take legal action to recover £1.5m which he says he has lost through bad advice.

Have your say

Mike, so all that needs to happen is the psychology of 100,000 people to change and a superclub will succeed? Mmm, i'm calling longshot :-)

Posted by martin on 5 January 2013 at 01:12

Peter if there's one thing the city needs less than a big nightclub it's coffee shops! N less than that it is more bookies...see today's story in cumberland news!Shame to see Cassa go it was a nice bar and downstairs was one of the best in town.
Can't see the city having demand for a large club again as long as bars etc are allowed to open past midnight.
Maybe if pubs weren't taxed so highly then they might be able to trade more successfully like coffee shops for instance!

Posted by Ron on 4 January 2013 at 20:54

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