Nov 2 2011 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
PROMINENT city centre bar Sportsters has been taken out of administration, it was revealed this week.
The King Street diner’s founders, siblings Paul and Stephen Smith, have utilised their company’s employee pension scheme to secure the venue from administrators Deloitte.
The pair were directors of Sportsters’ previous operating company Castle Inns Stirling Ltd – which also ran city nightclub Fubar – as it slipped into financial turmoil in July this year,
Castle Inns Stirling Ltd was one of several strands of the Castle Leisure Group umbrella, and the only one to enter administration in the summer.
Local entrepreneur Paul said: “It was very sad when the operating company fell into administration which, unfortunately, was as a consequence of the tough economic climate in which we now live.
“But the building’s future was never in doubt and, this week, it was returned to the employee pension scheme, as freehold owners, securing its future as a trading public house.
“The plan is to return it to its former glory following its short but incongruous time in administration.”
Maxwell Place venue Fubar remains in administration and Bridge of Allan nightclub the Red Room could also be faced with closure following its purchase by Mitchells & Butlers.
Despite this, Mr Smith revealed that nightlife in the Stirling area could be about to recieve an injection of impetus, if an ambitious blueprint for an unnamed city centre venue is given the go-ahead by the authorities.
He continued: “Since the sad demise of Castle Inns we have been working on a new concept, encompassing all of the successful parts of the previous ventures developed over the last 30 years.
“An option on a new property is set to be agreed and we are in the process of finalising the detailed aspects, with the hope of making the necessary local authority applications pre-Christmas.
“Although full details can’t be provided at this time the new concept will, if it’s approved by planners, include a twin-scene nightclub, bar, restaurant and live music venue.
“It will have an overall larger capacity than Fubar and will include all the very latest design, sound and light technologies.
“We thought about this for the Fubar building but, due to constraints with the building, this was not possible.
“Fubar, although conveniently located, does not provide the size or spacial aspects required for the new concept.
“It’s also hampered by the block of flats to the rear of the building on to Goosecroft Road, which would have invariably caused problems in the future.”
It is believed a deal to secure the new premises will be signed in the coming weeks, and that the mystery venue will be revealed when a planning application is lodged with Stirling Council.