Joe Robertson news article - Headlined Troubled Club to get new Image

Troubled Club to get new Image

Millionaire plans £1m revamp for Walker’s

A troubled nightspot is to be transformed into one of Newcastle’s plushest clubs by millionaire entrepreneur Joe Robertson.

He plans to put £1m into Walker’s nightclub and turn it into a high class nightspot bearing the name La Dolce Vita – the famous name held by one of Newcastle’s first clubs adjacent to the new club in the early sixties.

Walker’s reputation has been blighted in recent months by a series of violent incidents, including a fatal stabbing outside the Blackfriars club in November.

The club’s management were then fined £20,000 after police were called to the club to investigate another stabbing and found it was crammed to more than double its legal capacity inside.

In April police blocked a licence application by owners First Leisure Corporation, but made it clear they would not object to an application from Mr. Robertson’s City Leisure Group.

The company has now taken over the club and Mr. Robertson has promised to make Walker’s one of the plushest clubs in the region – with the backing of the police and fire brigade.

New measures to transform Walker’s include:

  • The whole premises will be refurbished with a new restaurant and soundproofing system.
  • There will be tight security with closed circuit TV outside and trained security staff inside.
  • There will be a strict dress code keeping men with tattoos and earrings out and forcing them to wear suits.
  • The entertainment inside the club will be cabaret style.

Members of Newcastle City Council’s public and environmental protection sub-committee approved the plan yesterday in a behind-closed-doors meeting to decide Mr. Robertson’s licence application.

Mr. Robertson told councillors: “our concern is to attract a quality clientele”.