This is how a magician conjured up his own entertainment bar business in Blackpool
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Russ Brown has performed at the Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Tower but has now turned illusion into a reality with the help of Blackpool Council’s business support service, Blackpool Unlimited, when he opened Russ Brown’s House of Secrets in Church Street.
His ambition had always been to open something unique, but the journey was not a straightforward one, as although he had worked at other venues, he was not familiar with the intricacies of licensing laws or business rates.
He said: “I've thought about opening a family magic bar in Blackpool ever since I was at the Tower years ago. It’s something Blackpool hasn't had before, and it felt like something that would appeal to locals and visitors alike and really fit with the town’s variety heritage.”
The advisors were able to help with the application, and on who to speak to and what to say to support his case. Plus help understanding business rates.
It also took more than a year to open the premises, which is part of the Winter Garden complex, as a complete refurbishment was needed. Since its opening, it has welcomed a growing clientele each weekend.
He said: “Out of season, entry has been free. You can enjoy a few drinks and some magic. We've already had plenty of people stopping by who are heading towards shows or events. During the season we’ll be running a show every night. For a small entry fee you'll get a brilliant, intimate magic show - which is the best setting for magic.”
And having his own venue has also given Russ creative freedom to devise new tricks. “Without giving away any secrets, having my own venue enables me to rig illusions without having to ask anyone’s permission. It’s enabled me to revisit and update some old tricks and introduce lots of new ones,” he added.
Blackpool Council’s business advice team offer a friendly, professional service for Blackpool residents looking to start, establish and grow a new business. The advisors have a wealth of experience and are able to cover all the key issues faced by people when setting up a business from scratch. As well as initial advice the team continue to support new entrepreneurs along their business journey.
Coun Mark Smith said: “This is a fantastic result for Russ and amazing to see how he has been able to use his own knowledge and creativity as well as experience of living and performing in Blackpool for so many years, to be able to start his own business with the professional help of Blackpool Unlimited.