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YMCA takes over Bar Rock
A FORMER Basingstoke bar is set to enter a new era after being transformed into a charity shop.
Bar Rock, in Winchester Street, closed suddenly in February when a sign was posted on the door of the premises to say the licence had been terminated, but giving no reason why this had happened.
But now the venue is being redecorated to be used as a YMCA charity shop, selling furniture, bric-a-brac, household and electrical items.
The shop will also include a retro and vintage area, selling furniture and clothes.
The revamp signals the end of an era for the venue as a town nightspot.
When Bar Rock closed in February, Samantha Carter, who ran entertainment on a Thursday night at the bar, said the owners had hoped it would re-open “very soon”.
She had been asked to cancel forthcoming events, but was led to believe the closure was not a permanent move.
However, later that month a sign was put up outside by London Clancy, advertising the 6,300sq ft unit. A member of staff for the commercial property agents told The Gazette at the time that the ground floor of the building was being marketed for let for £110,000 per year.
Sandra Greene, district support manager for YMCA Hampshire, said the charity has agreed to use the space rent-free, in return for paying the bills. The shop will remain until the owner can find a business to move in.
A YMCA shop has been at Top of The Town before, opposite Bar Rock in a site now occupied by Premier Stores. It moved out around two years ago when the convenience shop took over the premises.
Mrs Greene said: “We have been looking for somewhere ever since.”
The shop is due to open on August 14 and will recruit a full-time manager and part-time assistant manager, as well as volunteers.
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