A FRESH start could be on the cards for a former Irish bar and nightclub which was once said to be a hot spot for violence and underage drinking.

Club B’s, in Duke Street, Darlington is going under the hammer next week, with a starting price of £390,000.

Formerly Paddy O’Shea’s Irish bar, the two-storey end terrace premises had a £250,000 refurbishment in 2010 when the Club B’s name was adopted as the owners went for a late night lounge atmosphere.

It is not currently trading.

The bar became embroiled in controversy in 2011, when then licensee Barbara Vowles, a former commercial director of Darlington Football Club, stepped down from its day-to-day running when licensing conditions were imposed following complaints to police.

Darlington Borough Council reviewed the bar’s licence after a total of 16 separate disorder incidents were recorded between December 2009 and November 2010.

They included one man having a chunk bitten out of his ear and a 20-man brawl in November 2010, which spilled outside the premises.

The council’s licensing committee meeting in March 2011 decided Mrs Vowles could stay on as licensee, but she agreed to stand down from the day-to-day running of the business.

At the time, Mrs Vowles accepted the committee’s decision and said the bulk of the problems stemmed from when the business was under different ownership.

Pattinson National Property Auctions, which is marketing the property, said the internal layout allows for trading as a conventional pub to the front and a separate nightclub, with a side entrance, which can also be incorporated as part of the main bar.

The sale information says the property has total internal floor space of almost 4,300sq feet.

It reads: “The site offers an ideal opportunity to take over the existing operation and to develop other areas of potential business, or something completely different.

“The first floor has been refitted ready for use as a commercial kitchen, should interested parties be keen to explore the possibility of restaurant use.”

The auction will take place at Newcastle Falcons rugby club’s Kingston Park ground, in Newcastle, on Tuesday (February 26).

For more information, visit pattinsonauctions.co.uk/auction-property-darlington/137644