Last orders for Bar Berlin

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 08:01 02/07/2014
arlo Ferguson, left Urgent Sinclair
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

END OF THE LINE: Bar Berlin co-owners Marlo Ferguson, left and Urgent Sinclair are closing the doors of Bar Berlin.

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A late-night Nelson venue is having its last hurrah on Saturday.

The owners of Bar Berlin in Church St have called it a day after coming to the end of a five-year business plan, and have decided not to re-invest in another episode of the entertainment venue that started life as Baby G's.

Marlo Ferguson and Urgent Sinclair said it was a tough business to be in as a sole trader, they were tired, and felt it was time for a new challenge.

They had been through some "frisky times" when they "traded in their 20 cent pieces", and while business had been good, just like many small businesses in Nelson they were never in a position where they could "go off and buy a yacht".

"We're going to have a small holiday. We've a couple of ideas but we're not sure if we'll be coming back to Nelson," said Ferguson who has spent much of her life in Sydney and Melbourne.

Sinclair is a Kiwi but has also spent several years in Australia.

The pair stressed the business was not under any financial strain and the closure was a decision around timing.

"We didn't want to re-invest and if you look at the market right now, it would mean having to do that because God knows how long it would take to sell if we had decided on that option," Ferguson said. She said the lease was up, their five years were up, and it was time to move on.

"We've had a blast. We've held lots of private parties here - elopement parties, weddings, equestrian fetish parties," Sinclair said.

They opened the business as Baby G's after taking over in premises that was previously Sapphire Bar and an interior design store.

The couple had also hosted some "fabulous artists" over the years, including New Zealand singer-song writer Gin Wigmore. Over the last two years they had branched out into providing a venue for jazz, blues and soul music to include more variety alongside the regular Burlesque and the comedy.

Ferguson said a big night in the venue was 150 crammed into the bar.

"You couldn't move in here," she said.

Their customer based changed with the rebranding to Bar Berlin, which was designed to reflect a place that was a combination of everything they had seen all around the world, and a place they themselves would want to go to.

Sinclair said living in Nelson, despite the 2011 floods that forced them out of their waterfront home, was like "living in a post card". Ferguson said they had made "awesome, life-long friends" and Nelson would always be special to them for that.

The said the bar would not have been as successful without the input from their staff over the years, the Nelson Jazz Club, local business colleagues and owners in Church St, the queer community, local and national musicians and artists, dancers and comedians, the Burlesque performers, local hospitality staff and owners, their landlord, "fabulous" suppliers and "all the people who have chosen to have their celebration here".

There will be a rock ‘n roll night on Friday before the final big bash on Saturday featuring popular covers band The Sauce.

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- The Nelson Mail

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