One of the most iconic and historic buildings in the city centre could be transformed into a nightclub and restaurant complex if a new plans are given the green light.
Planning applications have been lodged to change the use of St Columb’s Hall, located between Orchard Street, Newmarket Street and East Wall, into an entertainment complex featuring a nightclub, restaurant and cinema.
The application proposes changing the basement, which is currently derelict, into a nightclub which would include a VIP area and several bar areas.
It also includes provision to change level two of the building into a licensed restaurant as well as upgrading the existing cinema club in the building.
Plans have also been lodged to restore the large auditorium on the third floor of the building and the balcony on the fourth, as well as refurbishment of the building’s historic mouldings and architectural features.
The landmark listed building was recently taken over by Derry hotelier and business leader Garvan O’Doherty. Prior to that St Columb’s Hall had been the parish hall of St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.
The sale of the venue to Mr O’Doherty was announced at Masses at Long Tower several weeks ago. At the time, Fr Paul Farren said the diocese had looked at a number of options and felt Mr O’Doherty’s plans were most in keeping with the history of the building.
The planning application has been made in the name of Schos Ltd. and a number of architectural drawing have been submitted.
The plans do not include any proposed changes to the exterior of the building apart from renovation and restoration of some of the historic architectural features which have become worn.
St Columb’s Hall has a long history of being used as an entertainment venue and has played host to many famous actors, performers and musicians over the years.
It was a regular venue for feiseanna for many years and pantomimes and variety concerts were also performed on its stages. The city centre building was also used as a venue for the parish bingo for many years.
In recent years it has been used as a cinema and concert venue and has also housed a weekly craft market.