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Not all baad news: Why Croydon's Black Sheep Bar closed

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THE owner of Black Sheep Bar has said a plan to build flats above the venue has forced it to close. The High Street bar, Croydon's longest-standing independent nightclub, has shut after 15 years. Owner Paul Bossick said he decided to close after the landlord of Green Dragon House submitted a plan to convert the offices above the club into 111 flats. The decision has met with a wave of disappointment but Paul hinted Croydon may not have seen the last of the Sheep. "The flats were the final straw," he told the Advertiser. "The Black Sheep was going to be in the wrong place. It was being pushed out. "We're a fairly noxious place, I suppose, with customer and music noise, so we wouldn't survive being underneath a block of flats. "It's certainly not unreasonable that the owner of the place would want to do something else with his building but it's horribly disappointing for us. "The Black Sheep was a massive part of my life and a big part of other people's lives, given the phone calls I've had today and the reaction on the internet. Closing was incredibly difficult." The nightclub, run by Paul and his father Howard since 1997, had survived several downturns in Croydon's night time economy but was, by their admission, in need of a facelift. "The place needed a major makeover but we couldn't do that with any confidence of being open," said Paul. He played down suggestion that the decision was financially motivated. "Trade has turned down but it has been at that level for some time," he said. "It wasn't making massive amounts of money by any stretch, but it was at a sustainable level. "Given the redevelopment which is supposed to be happening in Croydon over the next few years, we wanted to sit there and wait for it to perk up a bit. It wasn't at catastrophe levels on the financial side." To the shock of its customers, Mr Bossick has decided to close the Black Sheep immediately, rather than continue while the flats plan, submitted on October 11, is finalised. He considered a "final hurrah" but decided against it in order to make a "clean break". The loss of the Sheep will not affect the Bad Apple, the Bossicks' second town centre nightclub, which opened in March 2012. They plan to extend the Apple's opening times from three days a week to five, but will not change who the venue is catered for in order to attract former Sheep customers. "There's no question about the Bad Apple," said Paul. "It's doing quite well and is happy in its spot. "We want to extend the hours but wouldn't change the thrust of what that Apple does. "I've got no intention of making Black Sheep 2 – unless we open Black Sheep 2." Asked whether that meant he plans to reopen the Sheep in the future, Paul said: "Definitely, if I find the right spot I would like to have a go again. "I have loved doing it and a lot of people have enjoyed doing it with us. It's got a massive fan base and has become an institution. "Closing it down is massively emotional for me. When I did it couldn't believe it. I was quite tearful about it to be honest. "It's more about the customers than the place or the management. They made such a community. It became their bar. That's what made the Sheep so great."

Not all baad news: Why Croydon's Black Sheep Bar closed


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