New Durham bar changes name in light of student death

By Anna Tatham

A bar set to open in Durham City Centre has changed its name in light of Durham University student Olivia Burt’s death.

The Butterfly Room, a boutique cocktail bar, will be in the former Loveshack premises in the Walkergate complex.

The bar, part of the Newcastle-based Olivia’s Group, was originally planned to be called Olivia’s Courtyard and this month posters were circulated advertising the venue under this name.

The venue is close to the site where 20-year-old University College student Olivia Burt died in a crushing incident outside Missoula nightclub in February.

“The police notified us of the implications of the name so we changed it out of respect for the parents.”

A spokesperson for the company has said the firm was aware of the “sensitivities” of the area. 

Shaun Jenkinson, Operations Director of The Butterfly Room, told Palatinate: “The police notified us of the implications of the name so we changed it out of respect for the parents.”

The Butterfly Room will be the company’s second UK venue, alongside Olivia’s Townhouse in Birmingham. Olivia’s Group also own the nationally-operated Players Bar brand.

The development follows a £2 million investment in the former Loveshack site, which has been closed since last August.

A ‘Players Bar’, also owned by Olivia’s Group, will open later this year as part of the complex.

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP raised her concerns about the Players Bar development and the consequential high density of clubs near the proposed venue.

“Given the complex and interwoven issues the tragic events outside Missoula in February have raised, including the management of the night time economy, the suitability of the Walkergate complex for a concentration of late licences and the local authority’s licensing policy as a whole.

“I really hope that the licensing committee will consider the impact another bar in the Walkergate complex will have on public safety and associated issues in Durham.”

The Butterfly Room is scheduled to open in Durham City centre on Sunday 26th August.

Photograph: The Butterfly Room via Facebook

@annatatha

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