Famous nightclub The Coach in Banbridge put on the market
Popular venue is up for offer at £975k along with town's cinema
Top Northern Ireland nightclub The Coach in Banbridge, Co Down, is on sale for the first time in over a decade, along with a cinema in the town.
For years, The Coach Inn and Jockey Club has been pulling in crowds from as far away as Newry, Armagh and Belfast to its discos and big-name DJ events.
Now the venue, which includes a successful restaurant, has been put on the market by owners the Quinn family with a guide price of £975,000 – along with their other businesses – Harry's Bar at £475,000 and the £1.5m-priced Iveagh Movie Studios.
Dominic Quinn Snr (below), who was disqualified as a director last year over a separate company, is thought to have paid at least £1m for The Coach when he bought it from the Scullion brothers around 12 years ago. His son Andrew now runs the business, though no-one was available for comment at The Coach's offices yesterday.
John Martin of selling agents Osborne King said: "The Coach has always done well in the past and is one of Northern Ireland's premier nightclubs."
But there was surprise in Banbridge yesterday over the decision to put the businesses – which collectively employ a large number of people – on the market.
Sinn Fein councillor Brendan Curran said: "The sale creates uncertainty but we would certainly hope that these businesses will be secured by some other firm who will run them as efficiently.
"Between wages and rates, they will have contributed a lot of money to Banbridge.
"For any of it to go from the town would be a severe blow. Mr Quinn (Snr) is known for being very good to his employees."
Alliance Party councillor Sheila McQuaid said she hoped they would be re-acquired quickly. "They have made a great contribution to the town as a whole and both hostelries would be great favourites which serve beautiful food.
"Along with the cinema, they are part of the heritage of Banbridge and it would be very, very sad to see them go."
Mr Quinn had renovated the cinema with the assistance of Banbridge District Council, she added. "He really started with nothing and worked very hard."
Mr Quinn also ran vending machine business High Street Investments and arcade game business Treasure Island Amusements. He and his wife Julie were disqualified as directors for nine years over their conduct of the former late last year.
And Shanidar Ltd, which operated the pubs and cinema, entered in to a voluntary arrangement in 2009, with Mr Quinn Snr stepping down as a director last year. His son Andrew was then appointed.
Last year the arrangement's supervisor, Michael Jennings of BDO, published a summary of the arrangement, which showed that around £57,000 had been distributed to unsecured creditors since that time after the company had contributed £73,500 to the supervisor's account.
But Mr Jennings' summary said creditors were unlikely to receive more, "as the company continues to face challenging market conditions".
He said money had also been used to install 3D technology at the cinema and to carry out repairs and alterations at The Coach in a bid to attract more customers.
The 3D technology had helped "enhance the competitiveness of the cinema".
In 2010 a jury found Dominic Quinn not guilty of allowing his premises at The Coach to be used for the supply of drugs.