Bar Risa nightclub has announced that it will close effective immediately after owner Jongleurs went into liquidation last Tuesday.
The news has prompted an outcry of student grief.
A statement published by the popular Friday night venue read, “Sadly, we can confirm that Jongleurs in Hythe Bridge Street has closed as the economics are such that long term viability cannot be assured.”
Shortly after the announcement a flood of distressed student statuses appeared on Facebook. One student wrote “Why does the world have to be so cruel? Goodbye Risa.” Another stated, “Today was going so well until I discovered the demise of Risa. It’s a sad time for us all.”
Matthew Evans-Young, a third-year Historian described his response to the news, “It’s like a great light has gone out. Never again will Oxford nightlife be the same. There will always be a Risa-shaped hole in my heart.”
Only yesterday Oxford Students Services Limited sent out an e-mail promoting the night at Risa saying, “Oxford’s only student night on a Friday! Rammed every single week, get down before 11pm or risk missing out!” As a result of the closure, the Friday night will be hosted now at Escape on High Street.
Scott Mody, a second-year Christ Church student commented with dissatisfaction on the change, “Risa is one of the best and funniest venues…Escape is always quite disappointing. Risa rooms are far better than Escape’s.”
One third-year Oriel student added, “It’s like Filth all over again.”
The closure came after Jongleurs parent company Regents Inn went into administration. Although the vast majority of the group’s assets were, sold protecting 2,000 jobs, nine trading sites were closed. At Risa, 15 employees were made redundant.
Bar Risa’s closure makes it the latest addition to a string of failed recreational venues in Oxford. In recent months, Ha! Ha! Bar and Canteen and the burger chain Tootsies have closed their venues in the Castle. The Italian restaurant Carluccio’s has also confirmed that it is pulling out of the site due to poor trading and the nearby Living Room bar and restaurant is also in administration, though it continues to trade.
A spokesperson for the company’s liquidators stated that it might be difficult to sell the site considering the number of empty venues around Oxford, especially in the Oxford Castle.
However, not everyone was sad to see the club go. Colin Cook, chairman of the city council’s licensing committee commented, “Jongleurs caused many problems to nearby residents in Upper Fisher Row in the past, so I’m glad to see they will get some respite from the nuisance from that particular venue in the short term.
“Restaurants come and go throughout Oxford and have done for many years.
“This recession is certainly having an impact at the moment and the winter season is never a good time for bars and restaurants.”