Nightclub bosses left in limbo as bailiffs close building

'TECHNICAL ISSUES' ... Stephen Sullivan and Gavin Mann, who run Wicked Nightclub, are suffering after bailiffs came in to shut down Roxanne's. Inset, the notice at the venue.
'TECHNICAL ISSUES' ... Stephen Sullivan and Gavin Mann, who run Wicked Nightclub, are suffering after bailiffs came in to shut down Roxanne's. Inset, the notice at the venue.

BOSSES of a South Shields nightclub face an uncertain future after their building was shut by bailiffs.

Stephen Sullivan and Gavin Mann, who run Wicked nightclub, in Ocean Road, say they’ve suffered losses of up to £20,000 since they were stopped from entering their own club.

A notice at Wicked

A notice at Wicked

The pair sub-let the club from Roxanne’s, which is situated downstairs and owned by Amazing Leisure.

After shutting their club at 5am on Friday, July 25, Parkinson Bailiff Services Limited locked up all entry points to both Wicked and Roxanne’s, leaving forfeiture notices to say they were instructed to do so by API Property Group, who own the building.

The bar has so far lost seven nights of trade, and the business partners have no idea when they will be able to open their doors again.

Mr Mann said: “I got a phone call at 8.50am the morning after we last closed up, saying the cleaner had gone round and found the notices so couldn’t get in.

“We immediately started trying to ring our landlord Amazing Leisure to find out what was happening.

“We were advised that it was being dealt with and that they were making phone calls to the relevant people and that we should just hold fire.

“A couple of days went by, so we started calling them again and got the same responses, and they were saying they were trying to get a court appointment.

“Eventually we were contacted to say we would briefly be allowed into our club to check everything was still there, but we weren’t allowed to take any equipment away and there were people there to make sure we didn’t.

“We’ve been told that if we want to remove anything we’d have to submit a written request and a full inventory of everything in the club that is ours, and we did that yesterday.”

With both Roxanne’s and Wicked out of action, the pair feel that the town is suffering.

Another venue, Dusk, in Mile End Road, is temporarily closed for refurbishment, leaving Glitterball, in Ocean Road, as the only club currently in operation.

The men, who also own Trocadero’s in Prince Georg Square with Kimberley Wilkinson, also say they’ve had to cancel a private function at the last minute, and fear a charity fundraiser set to take place on September 9 won’t be able to go ahead.

They’re also losing money through equipment they lease for the club, such as tills and sanitary bins, being locked inside, and having to give their staff shifts in Trocadero’s so they don’t lose out on wages.

They are also still paying to insure their club, but if they try to enter it, they could face prosecution.

Mr Mann said: “We’re devastated because we can’t provide the service that we usually do and because of the knock-on effect it’s having on the town centre.

“The town has already been quiet lately, but now people aren’t bothering to go out because there’s not as many places for them to go clubbing.

“Trocs is suffering too because we’re not getting those early crowds before people hit the clubs – they’re going to Newcastle instead.”

Mr Sullivan added: “We just want to get across how frustrated we are that we can’t provide this service and that it’s unfortunately out of our control.

“We’re going through a tough time and just want to thank all the people who have given us their supportive messages.

“Because we’re a third party, we’re struggling to find out what’s going on, but we’re going to keep fighting for it and, in the meantime, invest our time in Trocs to make sure there’s something to offer people in South Shields.

“We’ll aim to keep people updated as much as we can on our Wicked Nightclub Facebook page.”

Amazing Leisure also owns The Point, in Sunderland, which has also been shut down.

Amazing Leisure was unavailable for comment when the Gazette tried to contact it via telephone.

The Gazette also found that the company’s website no longer exists.

Both API Property Group and Parkinson Bailiff Services Limited said they did not wish to comment.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki