How do you build a successful business? Aaron Mellor has the answers. The bar and nightclub tycoon, who is the managing director of Tokyo Industries, will give an insight at a seminar into the intriguing world of the vibrant and fast-moving nightlife sector.
Aaron owns and runs 32 bars, clubs and festivals – including the new nightlife complex recently opened alongside Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre which houses the new BrewHaus, Bierkeller, Tiki-O and Circle Nightclub venues. He will tell his own fascinating story, with all its ups and downs, and the journey to where he is today, sharing with business owners some secrets of what it takes to succeed in one of the world’s toughest and ever-changing industries.
In keeping with the conference’s “Bradford Now” theme, Aaron will explain why a major player like Tokyo Industries felt the time was right to invest in Bradford. Aaron’s portfolio also includes Fac251 in Manchester which he owns jointly with Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook.
Aaron is featured in Hooky’s book “How Not to Run a Club” about Manchester’s famous Hacienda club and says he decided to co-own a venue with the guitarist, because he “so loved the irony”. Also under the Tokyo umbrella are Tokyo Nightclub and Louie’s Liquor Store in Huddersfield; Digital and Tup Tup Palace in Newcastle; and Fibbers in York to name but a few.
He will be talking about his new West End nightlife complex which was created in a £1.2 million redevelopment of the old Windsor baths building, on Randell Well Street, supported by Bradford Council’s City Centre Growth Zone scheme. It now houses the BrewHaus, a traditional drinking hall with craft beers and cocktails; Stein Bierkeller, an authentic Bavarian wonderland; Circle nightclub – a state-of-the-art Ibiza-style nightclub; and Tiki-O a frivolous Polynesian-inspired party venue.
He also recently acquired Halo in Leeds, now home of Get Baked, an anti-concept burger bar where, says Aaron, they are creating “a re-invention of what a 2015 Student Union should be, like Tarantino’s roadside vampire distraction in Dusk ‘Til Dawn meets The Big Labowski.”
Speaking to the T&A last month, Aaron explained why he thinks Bradford is now getting “its mojo back”.
He said: “In re-imagining this area of Bradford’s West End we’re creating four very different venues aimed at different demographics, covering different times of the night. Basically, that’s something for everyone. Circle will appeal to the late-night audience who want an Ibiza-quality venue, with state-of-the-art sound and visuals. Bradford has got its mojo back, and we are ready to bring some really big-name acts back into the city and return the party.”
When the new bars were announced, David Robertson-Brown, of nearby Glyde House, who has been working to promote the Growth Zone for the Council, and said he was excited about the promise of renewed fortunes for that area of the city centre.
He said: “The combined impact will radically raise quality standards of the city’s night-time offer, create dozens of good, sustainable jobs, and help make the West End a premier city centre leisure destination, as it used to be.”