Bars in Aberdeen city centre have started to come forward with plans to stay open until 3am under a new policy.
The Spiritualist, Paramount, Triplekirks and BrewDog have applied to Aberdeen City Council’s licensing board to stay open later on Friday and Saturday nights.
Licensing bosses approved the move in November, letting city centre pubs extend their opening hours to match nightclubs, but without a requirement to lay on special entertainment such as a DJ or live music.
It comes as business owners in the Aberdeen Licensed Trade Association (Alta) demand an urgent meeting with the board to share their “grave concerns” about the scheme which could become a reality from next week.
Tony Cochrane, owner of Club Tropicana and Private Eyes, said the move would mark the “death knell of nightclubs”.
He added: “We’re trying to entertain people. In nightclubs drinking is broken up by dancing and listening to music.
“This would encourage more alcohol consumption.
“It could be the final straw for nightclubs in the city.
“It will get to the point where Aberdeen could just end up as a city of bars with people going to other cities such as Edinburgh for a more vibrant experience.”
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The applications will be considered at the next meeting of the licensing board on Tuesday.
Mr Cochrane said he would expect any talks between nightclub operators and the board to take place prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
Members of the board have previously said the changes reflect what people in Aberdeen want, with punters looking for a “different kind of experience” than the traditional nightclub.
Ewan McLean, manager of The Spiritualist, said: “We welcome the opportunity to provide the choice and to offer our stellar service to a later audience.”