Iconic Manchester nightclub closed down for good


Fifth Avenue, the iconic Manchester nightclub on Princess Street, has closed down for good.

According to Manchester City Council, the venue’s license was ‘surrendered by the license holder, 5th Leisure Limited, on 11/23/2021’.

The venue, which had been renamed simply Fifth in recent years, has been shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic in March, 2020.

But it’s now confirmed that it will not be reopening.

Contacted by the Manchester Evening News, owners 5th Leisure declined to comment on the closure.

According to licensing documents, the basement nightclub had plans to undergo renovations and refurbishments related to sound proofing as recently as last September.

However, other documents relating to a planned ‘reconfiguration’ of the club’s layout submitted to Manchester City Council recommended that the club’s application be refused.

It referred to ‘significant noise complaints’ about the club dating all the way back to 2006.

Immediately above the club is the Dwell Student Living apartments, the owners of which had also objected to the plans for reconfiguring the club.

The Council’s Licensing and Out of Hours team (LOOH) said in a document published in July last year that ‘with an existing abatement notice in force and for the aforementioned reasons LOOH recommend that the application is refused’.

According to posts on social media, staff at the club believed that the plan was to reopen the venue after the refurbishment had been completed.

However, with the license for the club now surrendered, the club is now effectively shut down.

The venue, which is beneath the Dwell Student Living apartments, has also been boarded up for some time.

The building at 121 Princess Street is currently owned by Centurion Investments, the company behind the Dwell Student Living brand and properties.

The Manchester Evening News has contacted reps for Centurion to establish if – or more likely how – the site will be redeveloped.

It’s a sad blow for the Manchester club scene, with the venue being part of the fabric of the city center for decades.

Prior to becoming Fifth Avenue, the underground space was called Legend, and was the precursor to the Hacienda, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting rigs.

The space age lighting rig at Legend

Legendary DJ Greg Wilson was its resident from 1981 to 1983, and called it ‘undoubtedly the greatest club I have ever worked in’.

The venue later played host to the likes of Mike Pickering, A Guy Called Gerald and Paul Oakenfold in the nascent rave era.

It was also the location that the Happy Mondays chose to film the video for their track Wrote For Luck in 1988.

However, in later years it became known for the dubious honor of being voted ‘the worst club in the UK’ by student magazine The Tab in 2016.

Former manager Matt Iceton, who left the business in 2017, but worked for the club for 10 years, told the Manchester Evening News: “It was a big part of my life, and is a big part of a lot of people’s lives.

“Unlike a lot of clubs that were open Friday and Saturday, or Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we were open a minimum of five nights a week most of the year round.

“We did a lot of events, like foam parties, which hadn’t been brought to Manchester before. It was popular with freshers and was always packed during fresher’s week.

“It’s a shame, because it’s been such a part of Manchester nightlife. A lot of other clubs would look down on us a bit, because we were high turnover, and had competitive drinks prices. There was a snootiness sometimes.

“But it was always going to get more and more difficult for them, in terms of noise. It was difficult managing the people on the street outside, traffic noise, noise from the club.

“There were just a lot of noise issues and disruption issues generally.

“But it’s a real shame that it’s gone.”

Do you have any crazy memories of the iconic Manchester nightspot? Let us know in the comments below.

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www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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