Karaoke bar set to open in Leicester's cultural quarter
A nightclub and a karaoke bar are set to be opened in the heart of Leicester's cultural quarter.
Promoter Tim Sturgess plans to reopen the former Dielectric venue in the basement of an old Victorian building opposite Curve – and says there are also plans to turn the former G-Spot sex club into a singing bar.
Dielectric was a popular destination on the rave scene until it was shut about 15 years ago following a police drugs raid.
G-Spot closed last year and the premises have been empty since.
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Mr Sturgess has already held a number of club nights at Dielectric, having been granted temporary licences, but now he has asked Leicester City Council for permanent permission to open.
He said: "Dielectric was a rave club and was really big. I want to reopen it but I'm looking at something a bit different. I want bands playing live there and people who are really into their music.
"I've been doing deep house nights on Saturdays there and it has been going very well.
"The old G-Spot used to be part of Dielectric but that is going to be a karaoke bar. I am helping set that up."
Mr Sturgess has applied to open from 10pm to 4am at weekends and from 10pm to 3am midweek. The club can hold 200 people.
He said: "Some people have been funny about it and said it's not right for the area, but I say a cultural quarter has to have a mix of cultures. This will be for people who are really into their music.
"Theatre and art appeal only to a small margin of people. Athena and Curve will be closed when we are open so there won't be any problems with them."
The move has prompted residents' concerns about noise from the proposed venues.
One resident, who lives in a flat near Orton Square, said he was worried about noise going on early into the morning.
He said: "We have problems with the bars sometimes already, so if you stick a club into the mix it will be even worse. I accept if you choose to live in a busy city centre you have to expect some noise, but you can also expect to be allowed to get some sleep."
Mr Sturgess said: "If we get a licence it will come with conditions. We can't have music pumping out the door. We will be working with the council's noise team.
"If it's too loud we will lose the licence. We don't want to upset residents. We will use common sense."
Chairman of the Cultural Quarter Business Association, Cassie Cockerill, who runs the Exchange Bar, said she supported the opening of the club.
She said: "Some people have complained about it but I think it's scare-mongering.
"If we want the existing bars and restaurants in the area to succeed we need more businesses to set up."
The council is currently considering Mr Sturgess's licence application.
Mr Sturgess previously ran The Auditorium, in Market Place, which was forced to shut down because it was losing money in September 2011, a year after it opened.