NEW owners have launched the first stage of a £350,000 project to transform a Gainsborough landmark building into a year-round family entertainment centre.
The Bridge Street property is set to undergo a complete interior facelift to provide conference, wedding and party facilities – and employ up to 25 full and part-time staff.
And, while DN nightclub's traditional fare of the past two decades is already attracting revellers to the venue, the two men behind the venture have revealed ambitious plans for the future.
Owner Rick Hart and manager Keith Gee won't be satisfied with the new look and paint job for the interior and exterior of the ground floor of the complex.
They've started on a complete makeover of the disused major function area on the floor above – including a state-of-the-art kitchen, bar and sound system.
Former doorman Mr Hart has lived in the Gainsborough area since 1978 and is the proprietor of the successful The Garage business just down the road from the former DN21 in Bridge Street.
He has recruited professional Mr Gee, who has 19 years' experience as operations director at the successful Damon's restaurant in Lincoln.
"I've worked for the past five owners of the club and when it became available I thought it was exactly what Gainsborough needed," said Mr Hart.
"But it's going to take time and money to get where we want to be.
"For now we have a new-look nightclub which is licensed until 2am, but we're applying for a later licence because that's what club customers want.
"And we're bringing acts like girls' night favourites The Dream Boys, who will be at DN next Friday, June 22.
"But after more than two decades as a club it's time the building was converted to become a venue for different events for all the family.
"One idea is to hold Sunday afternoon tea dances here."
Mr Gee, 54, said that the installation of the kitchen would be completed next week.
"We're trying to keep as many of the original features as possible," he said.
"But the plans for the upstairs area are for it to be used as a large functions area – for conferences, weddings and private parties.
"In time we'll have live bands up there and obviously as the business develops and gets busier we'll need to recruit.
"At the moment we have six full and part-time employees at DN, not including the specialist trained door staff.
"The idea is to have up to 25 local people working in the different departments as the club attracts more custom.
"But first we have to repair the roof before we can transform the historic building into a centre which is available for use seven days a week."