Burnley’s nightlife is set for a welcome boost with the transformation of one of the town’s most iconic buildings.
Walkabout closed its doors earlier this year but new life will be breathed into the once thriving nightspot when Macs Bar opens for business on Saturday, December 12th.
This is not a student bar, there will be something for everyone. There will be a strict door policy and it will be dress to impress.Andy Mac
Andy Mac, founder of Macs in Preston, will be running the bar with Jason and Rebecca Mcquoid from Burnley nightclub Vogue. And the trio believe this will be the start of something special for the town.
“Basically we’re replicating Macs in Preston,” said Andy. “Upstairs is going to be The Red Room with R ‘n’ B, hip-hop, grime, and downstairs we’re going to be playing your commercial chart music. This is not a student bar, there will be something for everyone. There will be a strict door policy and it will be dress to impress.”
Andy was helping Jason and Rebecca to promote Vogue, through his promotions company YBD, when they mentioned Walkabout to him.
The boarded up Hammerton Street venue had started to become a real blight on the town centre landscape and the couple felt the time had come to do something about it.
“Jason and Rebecca told me about Walkabout and so I came to have a look at it. As soon as I saw the building I knew we had to do something here and so we decided to do it together.”
Jason said the link between Macs and Vogue was important but so was working with all the other bars in town.
“We want to boost the town’s nightlife and that can only be done by working together. Even though we will be running this bar and hosting after parties at Vogue, we know people are going to be wanting to go to other bars and we want to encourage that. It’s a hard industry at the minute and you can’t do it by yourself.
“When we took over Vogue in June 2014 the town was going through a dip. There have been been a few closures but everywhere is starting to reopen again and that can only be good. We want to make Burnley like it was in 2007.”
Rebecca added: “Burnley has had a lot of bad press of late but we don’t think that’s entirely fair. It’s been a tough time but there has still been plenty going on in town. It’s not far off being where it used to be and hopefully this will help.”
Coaches will be picking up revellers from Clitheroe’s Sobar and Ships and Giggles in Preston on the Saturday in time for Macs’ big 10-30pm opening. It is theme Andy wants to see continued.
“We want to bring people into Burnley. There are already 200 people booked onto these coaches and we want to make this a regular thing. People should be coming over from Preston and Clitheroe to Burnley for nights out. When I came to look at the town and do a bit of research I honestly couldn’t believe it. Everything is so close together, there’s a real atmosphere and that’s just brilliant.
“People need to be getting down here before midnight though and that’s the other thing we want to encourage - people coming our earlier than they do now. It’s getting too late and it’s up to us to give people a reason to start coming out earlier. The opening night is going to be huge with some big stars here but this is only the beginning.”
He added: “One of the best things about this venture is the relationship we have with Burnley Council and the police. In a lot of towns nowadays, the councils and the police are trying to shut down the nightlife. That’s not the case here. People want to socialise, people want to go out and Burnley Council are behind this. It’s good to see.
“The potential for this town is huge.”
More information can be found at ‘MacsBurnley’ on Facebook.