Empty building in Ghent shopping street may become pop-up nightclub

An empty building on a busy shopping street in Ghent may get a new life as a pop-up nightclub.

The former FNAC building in the Veldstraat shopping street in Ghent has been empty for three years, De Standaard reports, and now the city is reviewing a permit for converting it into a temporary nightclub.

Fubar, the pop-up concept of entrepreneur Tim Joiris, originally planned to open in a former Carrefour Express this year, but that building was recently sold and will instead become an Okay-supermarket.

“That is why we had to look for a new location,” Joiris said. “It was no easy task because Fubar has become quite popular, so the new location definitely had to be big enough.”

City wants guarantees on noise pollution and safety

Joiris is looking to create a pop-up club because the prices are too high for a permanent one, and thinks the vacant spot on Veldstraat would be a great location.

“The building is ideal for a temporary launch of a nightclub. It is a largely concrete, soundproof bunker. You don't see that often these days. The dance floor will be on the ground floor, and there will be toilets in the basement,” Joiris said.

Real estate company QRF, which owns the building on Veldstraat, believes Fubar could formally set up in the building around the end of October, but it could be much sooner depending on the planned renovation works.

“We ourselves are very enthusiastic about the concept and we are pleased that we can support the local catering industry in this way,” said Michel De Baets, Asset and Investment manager at QRF.

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But they want assurances regarding potential noise nuisance from the pop-up nightclub.

“We are still early in our collaboration with Fubar, but we have already received guarantees from the organisation regarding possible inconvenience,” said De Baets.

“We want absolutely no complaints, so we definitely want guarantees from Fubar in terms of noise pollution and safety. It is certainly not the intention to turn the building into a permanent disco. Veldstraat remains first and foremost a shopping street.”

The plans for the nightclub will be reviewed by the City of Ghent, which will first have the hospitality sector conduct evaluations.

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