Viper closes to make way for new club in Hervey Bay
TWO years ago Shaun Leather jokingly discussed buying a nightclub in Maryborough; today he's knee-deep in a $150,000 renovation of the Fraser Coast's newest night spot.
SmokeNLeather is due to open on Hervey Bay's Esplanade in the home of the former Viper night club - but don't expect to recognise it when the doors open in four to five weeks time.
Mr Leather has taken on the project with his uncle, Chameleon Group CEO Chris Krieger.
The interior of the club has been mostly gutted and soon the new venue will take shape, with a complete refurbishment including the addition of a new deck, private bar and function room and open-air smokers lounge.
A new DJ booth, dance floor, main bar area and booths will round out the venue.
Patrons will be able to opt for the VIP experience with perks for members such as priority shuttle bus and free entry every night of the year, a private booth, relaxed drink prices and their own host for the evening.
The other notable change the new ownership will bring is a change in atmosphere.
"We want a safe venue, where people can come out and enjoy themselves," Mr Leather said.
Mr Leather said there would be a focus on safety, with the employment of a security guard, as well as an ID booth. A dress code would also be maintained, he said.
"I think (employing security) is a deterrent in itself (for those doing the wrong thing).
"We're going to give the local community somewhere safe to come out.
"We want a different image than before."