A TOP music venue that was devastated by a fire in the Old Town is opening a second smaller club on the site.
The new bar and club area at the Liquid Room – called The Annexe – will be launched on February 25 and will hold regular club nights from March 1.
It will operate as a separate bar and club space from the existing Victoria Street venue, with customers able to enter from the Cowgate.
The 250-capacity Annexe, situated beneath the club’s outside smoking area, is one of two new venues the Liquid Room is planning to open this year.
Work is currently under way to convert an empty basement space into another live music venue, and it is hoped this will be ready for business by the end of the year.
It will feature a stage, sound system and its own bars and will host bands in front of a more intimate audience than the main venue upstairs.
Both upstairs and downstairs venues are being kitted out with the same type of sound system used at festivals such as Glastonbury and T in the Park.
Plans to extend the club’s space came after the Liquid Room was forced to shut for a year and a half following a fire in December 2008, which started in the kitchen of the neighbouring Khushi’s restaurant.
The club reopened in summer 2010, with its owners using the opportunity to expand the business.
Paul Cunningham, events and bookings manager, said: “We have put the smoking area back now and it’s fully functioning again with the patio heaters and everything.
“The new venue is directly underneath that. It’s going to be used as a second room to the existing venue, with an entrance off the Cowgate.
“It will be open seven nights a week and promoters will run individual club nights.
“It will primarily be a bar opening from 6pm and will also function as a pre-gig bar for the main venue.
“We are working on the one in the basement and hope it will be open at the end of the year. It is still under construction and we are busy putting the soundproofing and everything in.”
Mr Cunningham added that The Annexe will also come into play more during the Festival.
He said: “We would like to do comedy during the Festival so this new space is more conducive to that.”
The massive blaze in 2008 saw firefighters battle 20ft flames at the building, which is shared with Finnegan’s Wake bar and Khushi’s Indian restaurant.