A RAUNCHY bar with scantily-clad staff has opened yards from a city’s 900-year-old church.
Boxers Sports Bar has opened in Crossgate, Durham City, opposite St Margaret’s Church.
The bar has an all-female waitressing team who wear short tennis skirts and sports bras and after 7pm the barmen strip down to boxing shorts.
The brains behind the new bar was Joel Bond who converted a 3,000 sq ft Japanese restaurant with a £100,000 makeover, creating up to 14 jobs.
“It is something new and something different,” he said. “I believe it will be an asset to Durham, rather than something detrimental.”
The bar opened six weeks ago and will serve US diner-style food.
Mr Bond said: “It has been very busy.
“We get the odd passer-by having a look. They perhaps have a snigger, but we have not had any massive complaints.”
Earlier this year, the Eazy Street cabaret club opened nearby, promising to bring Vegas-style glamour to Durham.
Despite an investment of about £80,000, it closed after six weeks.
In 2008, residents saw off an attempt to open a lap-dancing club in North Road.
Mr Bond said he wants to open more restaurants and nightclubs in Durham City and across the region during the next 12 months.
He had the backing of chartered surveyor and property agent Bradley Hall with the opening of Boxers.
“The premises are in an area of the city which is undergoing huge regeneration, and I hope the new place will provide a massive boost,” he said.
St Margaret’s Church dates from the mid-12th century and much of the stone work is original.
It is one of two churches in Durham with a Grade One listing.
A resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It doesn’t seem right having it so close to a church. There should be a more fitting business there.”