De Niro’s up for sale for £2.1m

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Newmarket nightclub De Niro’s is looking for a new owner, after being put up for sale by its founder Terry Lake.

The former Exning businessman who now lives in Tampa Bay in Florida, is asking just over £2 million for the High Street venue, which he and his then partner Rob Taylor established more than 20 years ago.

The sale is being handled by newly established Newmarket-based agent Clarke Philips whose director Phil Parsons said the 24,000 square ft premises was by far the biggest property the company had dealt with to date.

The premises is currently leased to Peter Crotty, but in the past few years its popularity has waned as neighbouring pubs and bars in the High Street have secured longer opening hours.

“We have had had quite a few interested parties contact us already,” said Mr Parsons.

He said it felt it was unlikely that it would continue as a nightclub and for that reason a host of development opportunities could be open to any new owner.

Already suggested has been the prospect of turning what was once the town’s popular Doric Cinema which first opened in March 1937 with 1,124 seats and closed in 1964, back into a town centre cinema venue.

It later became the Newmarket Cabaret Club operating through the 1980s before as De Niro’s it established itself as East Anglia’s most successful nightclub drawing customers from all over the region.

“Since we put it on our Facebook page there have been plenty of comments including suggestions that it should be turned back into a cinema,” said Mr Parsons, “and that certainly would be a huge benefit for the town.”

Odeon Cinemas, which was planning to open a cinema in Fordham Road as part of the proposed Sainsbury’s development, which was subsequently refused planning permission, was contacted by the Journal this week, to ask it it would interested. No-one was available for comment, but town and district councillor Mick Jefferys said he intended to raise the issue with district council officials. What do you think ? Is it time Newmarket had a cinema again and would this be the ideal spot? Email views to alison.hayes@jpress.co.uk