IT WAS the nightspot for rock and heavy metal fans in Hereford for nearly twenty years.

But 12 years ago, Manhattans nightclub in Hereford played its final record after its owner decided to turn the club into an indoor market and cafe.

Andy Catley, who set up Manhattans with Mark Spalding in 1993 when it was called Manhattans Suite and Video Bar, told the Hereford Times in October 2011 that the club would close on October 8 after takings fell below sustainable levels.

“We want to thank the customers who made Manhattans such a unique venue and would like to think that we made a small mark on the history of the social scene in Hereford,” he said at the time.

Hereford Times:

“But at the end, we weren’t making any money. The capacity is 420 and we used to fill that on a Saturday just three years ago, with another 150 people waiting outside, but now we only have about 15 people at midnight.

“A lot of our customers used to come after the pubs closed at 11pm, but mobile phones have killed the industry because people just sit at tables on their phones now and the way people have socialised has changed.”

Not long after being set up, Manhattans attracted a rock and biker following, with its upstairs Liberty's nightclub attracting a more commercial crowd with many bands also performing at the venue.

With planning permission for the change of use approved, Mr Catley said at the time that he had “four or five” people who wanted to have a stall at the new premises selling clothes, jewellery and beauty products.

Stalls would be situated both downstairs and upstairs, while a café, selling unusual varieties of tea and coffee from various countries, was also planned.

“I could have just sold it, but I had a think about what I could do with it and I have always wanted to go into retail,” added Mr Catley.

“I hope that the market will be a stepping stone for little businesses and arts and craft people before they move on to something bigger.”