Aldershot 's main nightlife hub is set to change hands this weekend as Yates’s closes its doors to be replaced by Popworld.
Little more than a month after Yates’s had an application to remain open until 3.30am approved, the large Popworld chain will step in with a grand launch next Friday (August 14).
The incoming nightclub company promises revellers a "high energy night out" and will also stay open until 3.30am, with last entry remaining at 1.30am.
Yates’s, owned by Stonegate Pub Company and a popular haunt of clubbers in Victoria Road for years, closed on Saturday (August 2) to allow for the refit, including the addition of VIP booths where there will be waitress service.
Popworld will create 10 new jobs.
Neighbours may be less than impressed by the prospect of the opening weekend celebrations planned at Popworld, which will feature fire breathers, stilt walkers and ‘Jaeger girls’ on Friday and Saturday nights.
Wristbands will also be handed out to those who sign up as a member with a chance to win a £500 cash prize. Cocktails are served in the customer’s choice of vessel, such as a glass, top hat or even a disco ball.
General manager Michaela O’Conell said: “We’re really excited about launching Popworld in Aldershot and know it will be a great success.”
Yates’s was given permission by Rushmoor Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee to remain open until 3.30am in June, a decision that was criticised despite no objections being put forward by Hampshire Constabulary.
Councillors have claimed that later opening hours will cause neighbours to have to put up with disturbances, and some warned that copycat applications from similar and related establishments would follow.
This was realised when Rushmoor Kebab, located further along Victoria Road, submitted an application to extend its closing time from 2.30am to 3.30am soon after Yates’s, and a hearing was scheduled to take place last week.
However, this was postponed after the shop owner was involved in a car accident on his way to the hearing. With council members and officers waiting to begin, applicant Hasan Karadal was said to have been stuck in traffic and then involved in an accident.
Chairman Alan Ferrier said the hearing would take place on August 14 but that the application may be determined in Mr Karadal’s absence if he failed to attend again.
Hampshire Constabulary’s licensing officer PC Ian Barnes was due to say the shop already remained open later than permitted.