Viper to permanently close, owner cites 4am city centre license proposal as reason

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Credit: Viper

Georgina Hayes
Editor-in-Chief

The owner of Viper has cited the pilot scheme for 4am closing licenses for city centre nightclubs as the reason behind the decision

Staple West End nightclub Viper is to close its doors permanently, with the exception of unique one-off events.

Previously owned by the G1 Group but now under the ownership of Chris Lessani, the club is to move its most popular club nights to The Sanctuary on Dumbarton Road. This news comes after the venue faced uncertainty in 2016, with its Facebook page similarly announcing that Viper would be closing down. However, in this instance, the venue did reopen after refurbishment.

The Glasgow Guardian has spoken to owner Chris Lessani who confirms that the new proposals and pilot scheme for 4am closing licenses for city centre nightclubs is the reason behind the decision to close Viper’s doors:

“We’ve felt it was more financially viable to operate Viper as an event space rather than opening five nights a week as a nightclub.

We also felt that the new pilot 4am license for clubs in the city centre was going to be far too difficult for us to compete with and hopefully this is something we can can challenge and try [to close] the division between city centre and West End venues. There was no consideration for any clubs in the West End – they aren’t giving West End clubs a chance against city centre venues.”

He continued: “They’re offering the city centre venues longer hours – it’s already difficult enough having [to shut at] 2am. A lot of people don’t want to go [to Viper] because it shuts at 2am; this can only get worse if the city centre venues are open for an hour longer. We got no mention in the consultation and we were disappointed – nothing changes outside of the city centre.”

A public consultation is currently under way that could allow city centre venues to stay open until 4am under new proposals from the city’s Licensing Board.

On whether the close would result in job losses, Lessani denied that this would be the case: “No, there won’t be job losses. The majority [of staff] have moved to Sanctuary.”

Student-favourite Viper events “Monday Night Heat” and “I Heart Wednesdays” will both be moving to The Sanctuary with the same staff and DJs, according to Lessani.