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Wright Venue closes as the mood music changes for city nightclubs

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'Ultimate experience': But the Wright Venue nightclub is closing

'Ultimate experience': But the Wright Venue nightclub is closing

'Ultimate experience': But the Wright Venue nightclub is closing

When it opened, they promised it would be the "ultimate night-time experience", modelled on the best nightclubs across the globe.

There would be special suites, each with the theme of a different American city - Miami, New York and Las Vegas - that could be hired for private parties. Even a private den called 'Scarface', with a secret entrance, that could be hired by the evening.

Now after almost a decade of mixed fortunes, after opening peak recession, the Wright Venue in Swords is to close its bouncer-guarded doors. The lease will now be taken over by Bodytonic, which runs festivals, restaurants and pubs and is set to open a new venue, the Jam Park.

It's the latest blow to the Dublin club scene after Club 92 in Leopardstown closed on New Year's Eve, while the iconic nightclub Lillie's Bordello will shut its doors later this month.

The company behind the Wright venue is the Michael JF Wright Hospitality Group, which owns Wrights Café Bar in Swords and the Marquette Food Hall at Dublin Airport. It has pledged to offer redeployment within the group to Venue staff.

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, and music stars 50 Cent, Usher, Duke Dumont and Rihanna have been amongst the celebrity guests down the years.

In its first year, it hosted 'The Apprentice' final and the Miss Universe Ireland pageant.

But there were negative incidents. Last November, two men were jailed after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage woman while she was slumped on a couch in a private room in the nightclub. Last January, a teenage girl was accidentally stabbed in the leg by a youth who had been carrying a knife at an under-18s disco.

Last September, chief executive Michael Wright registered a query with Fingal council about using part of the nightclub as a play centre but the plans were shelved.

Mr Wright said the business was currently focusing on food projects, including a €5m investment in a food hall at St Andrew's Church on Dublin's Suffolk Street, beside the Molly Malone statue. He said it had been an "incredible journey" and thanked the "talented and passionate team" at the Wright Venue.

The most recently filed accounts for the entity behind the venue, Wrights Café Bar Airside Ltd, warned of increased competition in the industry.

Covering the year to the end of March 31, 2017, the accounts show the company had accumulated losses of €2.5m as of that date. Those figures include a contribution from a second entity within Wrights Café Bar Airside, a pub called Hogs and Heifers.

The Wright Group owns the building in which the venue is located and will receive rental from Bodytonic.

Irish Independent