James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
'If someone offered to buy me out, I would go', says Heaven Nightclub owner
14 June 2021, 17:13
The owner of the G-A-Y and Heaven nightclubs Jeremy Joseph says he would sell his nightclubs today if someone offered to buy them, as the PM is expected to announce a delay to lockdown ending.
The conversation comes amid reports of a proposed four-week delay to the June 21 lockdown easing, which would've seen nightclubs reopen and all limits on social contact scrapped.
Mr Joseph began by saying: "Everyone talks hospitality, no one talks nightclubs, it's the industry that no one is properly talking about. I closed heaven, as a fully fledged nightclub on March 14th 2020. Over a year ago. I have had zero support from the Government. What he's not going to say today is what he's going to do to help the nightclub industry.
"What is he going to do for all the security, the DJs, the lighting technicians, the sound technicians, the bar staff, the toilet attendants?
"Our landlords in G-A-Y Manchester are treating us so badly at the moment, and we are paying them 100% of the rent on 25% capacity. It's like going to a newsagent, buying a Kitkat, asking for four fingers and being given one."
Shelagh then said: "You can't do it endlessly."
Jeremy replied: "I'm just one individual, and mentally, I have sleepless nights, it's just non-stop.
"I have to say, my love for this industry is gone. If someone offered to buy me out tomorrow or even today, I would go. I want to get out now. Everyone keeps saying 'oh it's only another four weeks', but this has been a year."
Shelagh then said that she was "so sorry to hear" Jeremy say that, and asked whether it was because even if they could reopen normally tomorrow, his head would now be "full of risk".
Jeremy said: "Yes, it's also not nice running a business with the virus around, it's so difficult.
"You're trying to keep staff safe, you're trying to keep customers safe. And also customers are a nightmare at the moment, a lot of people are just like - it's over - they've moved on.
"Customers are not interested in obeying the rules, so you're constantly going 'please sit down', 'we'll come to you', 'no you're not allowed to dance', it's endless. It's like being back at school, I feel like I'm a headmaster, not running a bar.
"I feel like I'm going to go to someone 'right if you get up and dance again you're going to have to write 100 lines - I must not dance'."
Boris Johnson is due to make an announcement at 6pm this evening on whether the lockdown easing can go ahead as planned on June 21.