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New 'first-of-its-kind' micro-club set to open this Easter weekend in former Houghton pharmacy

A new micro-club venue is opening this bank holiday weekend with DJs and cocktails as a Houghton gym owner hopes to bring something ‘fresh’ to the area.

Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 2:47 pm

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Michael Donkin, 36 is opening the doors of TROPIs Bar on Newbottle Street in Easter weekend with something ‘a little different’ in the hope of boosting nightlife in Houghton.

In partnership with his wife Steph, the duo came up with the concept of a ‘micro-club’ which is similar to that of a micro-pub or brewery but within his 9x9 metre building with a dance floor and house music tunes.

Michael, who also owns Evolution 24 Hour Gym which is located opposite TROPIs Bar, is hosting a soft launch this Friday, April 15 for VIPs along with family and friends before the club opens to the public from 7.30pm on Saturday.

Michael Donkin outside of Tropi's Bar Newbottle Street Houghton-Le-Spring. Picture by FRANK REID

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He said: “We just wanted to create something a bit different and the building has been empty for a while so we want to make it a destination.

"Houghton is right smack bang in the middle of Sunderland and Durham so we hope to boost the nightlife as it’s struggled in recent years.”

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The new bar will serve cocktails, spirits, house wines and draught beers while live music and DJs entertain guests.

The new Houghton-Le-Spring bar opens this bank holiday weekend. Picture by FRANK REID

Plans for the weekend also include a chilled afternoon on Easter Sunday, April 17 from 12pm before 90’s and 00’s classics take over into the evening until late.

Following the Easter Sunday party, a chilled event is set to take place on bank holiday Monday, April 18 with acoustic guitar covers by musician Jodie Fitzgibbon.

The business owner added: “There is a Wetherspoons just up the road and another couple of pubs nearby too – there’s been a lot of changes in the area and Houghton used be a place with a great nightlife so hopefully we start to see that coming back.

"I think we've found a bit of a gap in the market and it’s really exciting times. We think it’s the right time for a business like this and hopefully it brings something new and fresh to the area.”

Tropi's Bar Newbottle Street Houghton-Le-Spring. Picture by FRANK REID
Stephanie Donkin finishing the painting at Tropi's Bar Newbottle Street Houghton-Le-Spring. Picture by FRANK REID