Longridge Bar Bartleys owned by former Rock FM DJ Mark Freejack says closure is due to cost of living, lack of footfall and rent prices
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The business named after the famous DJ’s son opened in August 2020 however it has now been cleared out just three years later, we spoke to Mark Freejack about the reasons he closed the Longridge bar.
The father-of-three told The Post about the struggles he faced opening the bar as COVID lockdowns came into place. However through adapting to meet safety measures and maintaining a positive outlook, the former DJ pulled through the years of the pandemic successfully with Bartley’s becoming a hotspot for dance, RnB, Motown, and soul events.
Mark said: “We’ve had a great three years at Bartleys, hosting events for the community, meeting all sorts of lovely people and becoming a popular venue in the town of Longridge. I’m glad I did my three years, it’s been great but incredibly difficult but we did our best and I'm very proud.
“The lease on Bartleys ended after three years, and we had to make the difficult decision if to carry on and sign up to another term. But there’s been a combination of factors, the cost of living crisis, lack of footfall due to the change in habits of people after COVID and the price of rent. As a small venue, the cost of everything going up makes it an incredbly tough trade at the moment. I do believe this will change soon, but we decided that’s enough now and decided not to renew our lease.”
Bartleys closed for good on July 26, hosting a ‘Final Bartleys Weekender’, with Mark announcing to his Facebook followers: ‘After 3 years its time to move on to our next nightime adventure.’
The Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme ended in April this year with The British Beer and Pub Association warning that the average energy bill for a pub will rise by £18,400 a year as a result.
Mark Freejack, a former Rock FM DJ of 22 years told The Post it wouldn’t be the last of him on Preston’s pub scene, suggesting future plans for a city centre venue next year.