Loosedays take over Empress Bar after previous owner takes ‘different direction’

Loosedays’ latest venue welcomed Dizzee Rascal on its second opening night

The events management company Loosedays have taken ownership of Empress Bar after the previous owner wanted a different direction for the business.

The new management aims to bring nightlife back into the Toon as well as use Empress as a “pre-bar” with their student-friendly deals and the location ideal for other local bars and nightclubs.

The previous owner of Empress and local businessman, Matthew Settle dedicated over a decade to the bar and decided to take a “different direction” which left room for Loosedays to invest in the business. Prior to COVID-19, Empress sold trebs and then started focusing more on good-quality doubles and cocktails, the new owners have brought back the beloved beverage with a deal very appealing to students.

Located just before the infamous Quayside and a stumble across from Tropiloco, Empress offers multiple student deals throughout the week, helping to keep the drinks flowing and the overdraft well and truly buzzing. For just £5, you’ll be able to grab two trebs from Sunday to Thursday.

The Tab were given the opportunity to speak with Loosedays’ representative Jack Smillie about the move to Empress and why they chose to revamp the once popular and well-loved bar.

He said: “Newcastle’s known as the city of the treb, but with the cost of living everything’s lost its way a bit, so we’re aiming to bring that back as well with our two for £5 deal”.

Jack further stated: “This was a major step forward in our mission to make Newcastle’s nightlife as vibrant as possible”.

In terms of what they hope the future holds for Empress, they said they aim to: “Re-ignite Newcastle’s infamous pres culture which has totally vanished since Covid… to drive people into the city from 9 and 10 o’clock again, boosting the local economy while providing more fun and safe spaces for everyone to enjoy and socialise with old and new friends”.

They also emphasised the endless opportunities for local student DJs.

On their second opening night, Empress invited a special guest Dizzee Rascal for a live performance.

Jack said: “We ran a successful spontaneous pop-up show with Dizzee Rascal at Ouseburn Gardens, another intimate venue, back in August. He loves Newcastle and was keen to come back up for his new album tour. He wanted to check out our new bar, so we put it together and made it work”.

To check out Empress, head behind the Cathedral and towards the Quayside.

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