See inside Sunderland's new Trilogy nightclub ahead of opening night
Sunderland’s only dedicated nightclub will open its doors this weekend – and the Echo has been for a sneak peek.
While other venues such as The Point and Independent host club nights, as well as gigs and events, Trilogy will be the only dedicated nightclub after the closure of Illusions.
It’s being brought to the city by businessman Michael Downey, who has four decades of experience in Sunderland nightlife and has been at the helm of some of the town’s biggest clubs over the years including Ku Club and Passion.
His most recent club was Illusions in Holmeside, which he ran along with Hidden in Park Lane, but after both sites were earmarked for the development of the old Park Lane market he closed those sites and invested in the Galen Building.
After taking over the lease at the historic site in Green Terrace, which dates back to 1900, he’s relocated Hidden to the upstairs floor of the former Varsity, creating a brand new roof terrace, while Tequila Tequila Mexican restaurant will occupy the ground floor.
Trilogy, a brand new venue, will open in the former Basement and Diva club and is the third opening as part of his investment – and his third nightclub – hence the name.
Michael says it’s a great time to be part of this side of the city centre which, already home to bars such as The Terrace, Life of Riley, Victors and Fitzies, has also seen a number of new openings in recent months, including Halo, Street Bar and Victoria’s Loft.
"There’s such a great vibe in the city at the minute,” he said. “I remember in the old days of Boulevard we’d look along the street and you’d have people queuing, going between Boulevard, Annabel’s, Idols and Digby’s, there was a great atmosphere. And you can start to feel that here at this end of town with all the great existing bars, like The Terrace, and all the new openings, which have done a fantastic job.”
The businessman, who has created 60 jobs across his new sites, said: “What they do at The Point and Independent is fantastic, but as they partly do gigs and events too, this will be the only dedicated nightclub with a 4.30am licence.
"The owners of the building, the Noble organisation, spent a lot of money on it when they created Basement and we’ve kept some of the features, but we’ve also put our own stamp on it, which has really changed the dynamic.
"A lot of the work has been structural as we’ve had floods and electrical problems. We’ve also invested in a sound and lighting rig which is probably the best the place has had.”
Trilogy, which opens on Saturday, August 28 in time for the Bank Holiday weekend, will have two rooms of commercial music.
"We didn’t just want to focus on one genre of music, we wanted to make it accessible to everyone,” explained Michael.
Since Hidden opened in its new home six weeks ago, Michael says it’s done better trade than it ever did in Park Lane.