FIRST LOOK: £250,000 vision to transform Sidmouth’s shut nightclub Carinas into an eatery

An artist's impression, showing what the former Carinas site could look like.

An artist's impression, showing what the former Carinas site could look like. - Credit: Archant

This image shows how Sidmouth’s now-closed nightclub could look if a £250,00 bid to turn it into a trendy eatery is given the green light.

Carinas Nite Club. Ref shs 04-18TI 6549. Picture: Terry Ife

Carinas Nite Club. Ref shs 04-18TI 6549. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The proposals have been revealed by director Chris Eccles, of Residential Trust Limited, who owns Carinas.

A planning application, which has been submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC), seeks permission to replace the ‘unattractive’ canopied door with a glazed and timber front in Dove Lane, and to install a new roof with a glazed atrium above. The planning statement says the nightclub was barely profitable when the owner purchased the venue in October 2015. And, while they managed to halt the decline in their first year, they have since seen a fall in customers and in their turnover.

The nightclub was a costly exercise requiring staff for both bar areas, a DJ and mandatory qualified door staff - all of which were hard to recruit and retain as they were required for short, unsocial hours, according to the application.

Mr Eccles said he envisioned a ‘high-quality development’ that would serve ‘the current trend for coffee shops which become wine bars/restaurants in the evening’.

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He said whoever ended up operating the venue could also have a small dance floor and apply for a late licence if they wished.

“Work has already commenced on the Fore Street part of the building that already has consent and we would like to continue the restoration work to cover the entire building,” said Mr Eccles.

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“It must be remembered that, prior to the nightclub use, the building did form the Trumps Café and rear Winter Garden, which was a substantial tea room and café. I believe this scheme will help to substantially improve the street scene and add to the vitality and employment of the town, if we can find the right operator to run the completed unit. It should help to boost adjoining businesses in the town.

“There will be those that give us criticism for closing the club, but it became an out-dated concept with ever-falling customer numbers that made it unsustainable. We will be investing more than £250,000 in the building structure alone, before it is fitted out and this amount could not be justified unless we made a significant change. I would hope that both EDDC and the town council will look favourably upon this application and the investment that we are prepared to make in the town.”

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