Glos Vegas: We want Eastgate Street pedestrianised until 5am
NIGHTLIFE in Gloucester is changing. Huge investment is being pumped into the after-dark economy to make the strip of bars and clubs a more attractive destination for late night drinkers.
Eastgate Street is the city hub of evening entertainment, an area affectionately known by punters as 'Glos Vegas'.
When pubs close, people head for 'the strip', home to venues Fever, TNT, Zest, Butlers and Liquid.
Fever manager Simon Ellis said it is a tough time for night clubs. "Economic conditions will always dictate people's choice about how and where they spend their money to have a good time," he said.
"It is hard for everyone at the moment.
"We offer a safe environment for people to enjoy themselves and try to give them as good a time as possible."
Although part of Eastgate Street is pedestrianised, club and bar managers are calling for an extended area to be cut-off from traffic from 10pm until 5am. They said a ban on cars and better lighting would improve safety making the area more appealing.
Liquid has invested more than £20,000 in a refurbishment to maintain its status as one of the city's premier venues.
Sid Kostomin, deputy manager there, said: "If more big name brands took the gamble and opened up in Gloucester, that would help other existing businesses.
"We could do with a Vodka Revolution or something similar, but variety is important. The docks has seen big investment, but it is more suited to a family environment."
Councillor Tarren Randle, (C, Barnwood) heads up Gloucester's evening economy action group, a panel of business owners and bar managers with a mutual interest in improving city night life.
"I have built up a strong bond with a lot of the pubs, clubs and restaurants owners over the past year, and we are all looking to the future," she said.
"Making Gloucester's night time economy a safe and diverse area for all ages to come out and enjoy is our main priority."
Steve Donnelly took charge of Gloucester's oldest pub, the New Inn, earlier this year. He hopes to attract more people into the historic venue by offering alternative entertainment nights.
"Our figures have picked up since we moved in, that is encouraging," he said. "It has taken a lot of work and we have cut back on staff but we are at full capacity most Friday and Saturday nights in the hotel."
The pub is holding its first night specifically aimed at over-30s on Friday, October 26, a tarts and tramps fancy dress theme with live music. If successful, it could become a monthly event.
An online survey has been launched to ask what the over 30s want to see in Gloucester.
Fill in the online Eastgate Street survey