Former Plymouth nightspot The Cooperage finally sold at auction
THE famous Cooperage music venue has at last been sold – for £310,000.
The Bretonside venue – which once hosted acts including Muse, Buzzcocks and the Damned – sold at auction to an "undisclosed" buyer.
It was third time lucky for the three-storey building, with its distinctive Tudor-style frontage, after it was twice pulled from auctions within the past year.
The venue has a colourful history. Aside from hosting musical acts as diverse as Reef, Geno Washington, Desmond Dekker, the Stranglers, Sham 69, Courtney Pine, Oi Polloi, Compulsion and Afrika Bambaataa it has been owned by two of Plymouth's most high-profile businessmen.
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Lottery millionaire Mike Antonucci bought the venue after collecting his huge win, and sold it in 2005, the year it stopped hosting music, to Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh for £900,000.
Bahmanzadeh was jailed for nine years, in July 2008, after being convicted of allowing the "rampant" use and sale of Ecstasy in Union Street's Dance Academy, which he also owned.
Barclays Bank which lent Bahmanzadeh cash to buy the Vauxhall Street property then ordered its sale.
Receivers were brought in and put the venue on the market in April 2010.
But despite attracting interest from people who wanted to run it as a nightclub again, and from developers, a "best and final bids" offer, meaning anyone wanting the property had to submit their best offer, failed to find a taker by October 2010.
The property was then due to be sold at auction last December, but it was taken off the list due to reasons "beyond the control" of auctioneers.
It was then re-listed for February but again pulled due to "legal difficulties".
The Cooperage, which has structural parts dating back to 1800, has now finally sold after being among 35 lots sold through regional land and property auctioneers Clive Emson at a sale at St Mellion International Resort, in South East Cornwall.
It is not known what the new, mystery owner, plans for the venue, but it could be used as a music venue again, or turned into flats or converted for business use.
The building's lower two storeys include separate dance floors, bars, lounge areas and a kitchen.
The second floor is a large flat complete with a sauna and a roof terrace.
Graham Barton, auctioneer and a regular face on BBC1's Homes Under the Hammer show, said: "With its famous musical associations and potential, investor interest in the legendary Cooperage nightspot was high, with the gavel coming down on a winning bid of £310,000.
"We are not privy to the buyer's immediate plans for the property, if any, but the building could be used as a music venue again or was also ideally placed for mixed residential and commercial development subject to all necessary consents being obtainable."