The Ritz at Brighouse is set to re-open – amid talks aimed at resolving a dispute with the glitzy Ritz Hotel in London.
Glenn Smith, owner of the nightclub closed its doors on Saturday, February 25, after the Ritz in London threatened legal action if the Bradford Road venue did not cease trading under its current name.
Now Mr Smith, acting on legal advice, is to reopen the popular music venue on Friday, March 31 with a Tamla Motown/Soul Night.
Mr Smith originally took down his website – www.liveattheritz – but put it back up again on the advice of his lawyer even though the venue was shut.
Mr Smith, who spent two years building up the business, was given an ultimatum by the hotel’s solicitors to cease trading under the Ritz name by the end of February.
The prospects looked bleak as Mr Smith said he could not afford to rebrand the venue or fight the case in court. However, he said things were now looking more hopeful after an experienced intellectual property lawyer got on the case.
Talks are continuing between Mr Smith's legal adviser and solicitors acting for the hotel. He said it was hoped that once the issue was resolved, the venue would be able to retain the Ritz name.
He said: “We hope to reopen on March 31. We have taken the opportunity while it is closed to carry out a bit of general maintenance and spruce it up a bit. We have got the posters and we will be putting the sign back up in the next few days.”
Mr Smith said he had continued to pay his 11-strong staff while the venue was closed. “They are quite pleased that we are set to reopen and things are looking hopeful,” he said.
The row has been followed by the world’s press while people have expressed support for the nightclub on Facebook.
“It has been on the news in Australia and New York and it’s been rife in London,” said Mr Smith “Social media has spread the story like wildfire.”
Mr Smith said he could not afford to rebrand the venue or fight the case in court.
Over the years, the Ritz at Brighouse has become a well-known dance and live music venue featuring Tamla, Motown, soul, funk, northern soul, rock, pop, rock ‘n’ roll and ballroom. It has also held regular dance classes, modern jive and ballroom nights.