An iconic Northampton bar and nightclub will reopen this weekend after closing almost two years ago when the pandemic hit.
Retro Bar, in Bridge Street, has been hit hard by the pandemic and has only opened sporadically since nightlife restrictions were lifted, due to staffing issues.
However, a new management team is now in place and the club, which plays old school pop tracks from the 1970s to the 2000s, is ready to reopen properly from Friday (March 4).
Danny Edwards, owner of Retro, told Chronicle & Echo: “It’s been difficult to get staff when we have opened a few times so it has never really got back off the ground.
“Now we have an all new team of staff and management, and we have revamped and made improvements, so it’s quite exciting.
“It will be nice to be back and to get some normality back.”
Since Danny announced the reopening on Facebook, there has been an outpouring of love for the club as the post has garnered more than 250 comments and shares from excited customers.
He said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support. It’s amazing.
“It’s clear from the number of comments on social media that a lot of people out there are as excited as we are.
“I think we’re in for a busy opening weekend.”
As well as updating the “tired-looking” bar, Danny and his team are also expanding the opening hours.
Prior to the pandemic, Retro would only open on Friday and Saturday nights, but now it will open from 1pm Tuesday to Friday, as well.
The new opening hours will be trialled initially “to see how it goes, as day time trade is difficult”.
Danny added: “We’ve moved furniture around, added benches and changed the space to make it suitable for day time trade.
“We’ve made some major changes so it will be like a new venue for people to see.
“It is still Retro though, we’ve just tidied it up a bit."
Looking to the future, the business owner is quietly confident that his evidently popular club will bounce back and continue to be a pillar of Northampton's nightlife.
“If we can survive two years of being closed, hopefully we can survive the next few years of being open," Danny continued.
“We’ve managed to stick it out with next to no trade, but still having to pay outgoings, so I would like to think we will be looking at several more years of trade.”
Retro will reopen at 9pm on Friday and the team hopes to see customers “dancing in the moonlight” until 3am, with a photo booth on hand as well as the bar's own 'vodka vimto'.