Town still busy as blaze-hit bar is shut

Firefighters at Walkabout in Queen Street, Blackpool.
Firefighters at Walkabout in Queen Street, Blackpool.
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It was business as usual for Blackpool’s bar scene despite the enforced closure of one of the resort’s main nightspots.

Walkabout on Queen Street has been shut since flames swept through the building on Wednesday.

The Strand, which links Queen Street with Talbot Square, has also been closed to pedestrians.

But Matthew Wright, assistant manager of The Litten Tree on Queen Street, said venues had still been busy over the weekend.

He said: “Saturday night was very busy despite the fact people could not get through The Strand.

“They just walked round along the Promenade instead. We were busy and so was the rest of Queen Street.”

Michael Sugden, of Ma Kelly’s on Dickson Road, said: “The Walkabout is a big venue, with a capacity probably around 700, so everyone has dispersed to the other bars and we have been very busy all weekend.”

Craig Southall, of Yates’s on Market Street, said: “We saw an increase of trade in Market Street and people stayed a bit later which I think was because Walkabout was closed.

“From speaking to people, I think a few more locals did not come out because of it but there were plenty of tourists.”

It had been feared the loss of the Walkabout bar would damage trade because it is a major player in the resort’s night-time economy.

More than 70 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height after flames broke out at about 5.30am.

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