The Avenue owner aims to revitalise Chesterfield’s nightlife

Paul Birch inside The Avenue. Pictures: Jason Chadwick.
Paul Birch inside The Avenue. Pictures: Jason Chadwick.
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“We want this fantastic place to be a venue for everyone.”

The words of Paul Birch, owner of new Chesterfield nightspot The Avenue – and a man who desperately wants to help rejuvenate the town’s nightlife.

Paul and his son Liam, who performs in band Fifty Nine, outside The Avenue.

Paul and his son Liam, who performs in band Fifty Nine, outside The Avenue.

The Avenue occupies the Beetwell Street building which used to house Rileys snooker and pool club.

It is the largest independent music venue in the UK with a capacity for 1,800 people.

Happy Mondays’ star Bez helped launch the venue at the end of last month – and more well-known names are bound for the town.

“We’re talking to different agents and there’s a lot of interest,” said Paul, of Hasland.

There’s nothing quite like The Avenue anywhere else in Chesterfield – and we’re very proud of it. We want it to be the place to be

Paul Birch

So what does The Avenue have to offer – and what sets it apart from other nightspots in the town?

Paul told the Derbyshire Times: “As a venue, club and bar, we are revitalising the town’s nightlife and presenting local bands – both established and up-and-coming – with the opportunity to display their talents to a huge audience.

“Our vision is to attract big-named artists to The Avenue to play alongside inspired performers.

“We’re kick-starting a fresh approach to live music in the area.

Inside The Avenue.

Inside The Avenue.

“What’s more, we’ll soon be launching comedy nights and we’re looking at introducing shows like ‘an audience with...’ We’ve been talking to people like EastEnders’ star Danny Dyer for that.

“There’s nothing quite like The Avenue anywhere else in Chesterfield – and we’re very proud of it.

“We want it to be the place to be.”

He added: “The Avenue is for all ages.

Inside The Avenue.

Inside The Avenue.

“From young people to folk in their 70s, it’s yours.

“Please use it – let’s not lose it.”

Recently, Chesterfield’s nightlife has come under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

The Derbyshire Times has reported on countless cases of booze and drug-fuelled anti-social behaviour and serious crime in the town centre.

Paul wants to replace that image.

He said: “On a weekend, you often see people heading to the train station to get away from Chesterfield.

Inside The Avenue.

Inside The Avenue.

“We want people to be coming from places like Sheffield to here.

“Let’s make our nightlife great again.”

• Visit www.facebook.com/avenuechesterfield for more about The Avenue.

Can you remember these past Chesterfield nightclubs?

Sheffield Road’s Aquarius dominated the town’s nightscene from the day it opened in 1972. The Drifters, Bob Monkhouse and Bernard Manning were just a few of the acts to grace the stage of the venue which pulled in punters from right around the region week after week. Remember your chicken in a basket meal?

Adam and Eve on Lordsmill Street was also one of the town’s old favourites. If you weren’t one of the five lucky ones to squeeze into the Lordsmill Street venue then you’d have to get the bus down Whittington Moor to the Aquarius.

Inside The Avenue.

Inside The Avenue.

Pauls son Liam outside The Avenue.

Pauls son Liam outside The Avenue.

Aquarius.

Aquarius.