THE project to reopen a legendary Newport nightlife venue is “nearing completion”.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Delilah’s would be reopening in the city centre, after a long absence.

Located in the Silurian Hotel building on Newport’s High Street, the former bar and nightclub has stood empty for around eight years, having previous traded as both Delilah’s and Yates bar.

But, that looks set to change - and fairly soon.

In recent weeks, Craig Davies, and his team at the Mainty Group have been working to restore the premises, which stands above a long abandoned former bank vault.

South Wales Argus: From left - Max Kastanje (CEO, Promagem LTD), Mark Dudley (operations director, Mainty), Craig Davies (CEO, Mainty), Dominique De Jong (COO, Promagem LTD)From left - Max Kastanje (CEO, Promagem LTD), Mark Dudley (operations director, Mainty), Craig Davies (CEO, Mainty), Dominique De Jong (COO, Promagem LTD)

But, unlike the Delilah’s of old, operators Mainty, backed by building owners Promagem LTD, have a different vision for the site.

Speaking to the Argus earlier this year, Mr Davies said: “Since Yates closed, it has stood empty for eight years, almost in a derelict state.

“We were always planning on doing something with it, it was costing us money just sitting empty.

“At first we thought about office space or maybe a restaurant, but people kept asking us if Delilah’s is opening up, and we just thought, heck, let’s do it.

“We don’t want it to be a sticky floor nightclub, so we’re hoping to be food-led by day, and playing pop music at night.”

South Wales Argus: Work is ongoing inside the venueWork is ongoing inside the venue

More recently, the interior has undergone some significant changes ahead of the planned opening in the coming months.

This includes fixing the interior electrics, and installing new flooring – as part of the pivot away from the “sticky floor nightclub” style of venue.

What’s more, artists have been working inside to create murals in keeping with the new bar’s industrial theme and aesthetic.

Pictures taken inside the venue show much of this work taking place.

In the days to follow, new windows are set to arrive too, which will be a major clue to passers by that work is progressing inside.

What can we expect from the new venue?

It might, on the surface, sound a little strange for a hotel operator to be delving into the nightlife industry.

But, the Mainty Group are no stranger to hospitality.

While their bread and butter is in short term accommodation, with 76 houses across Wales, they also operate three hotels, and recently developed a bar – the indoor garden themed Utopia Bar in Swansea.

South Wales Argus: The bar area inside Delilah's in NewportThe bar area inside Delilah's in Newport

And, while the new premises in Newport will not be following in the jungle-themed footsteps, it has been revealed that a distinct theme is planned.

Mr Davies said: “We’re no strangers to doing some pretty fancy and crazy stuff with old properties.

“It is a listed building, and we’re committed to keeping the absolute feel of the place.

“There will be an industrial theme – where old meets new.

“Located next to the railway and the new railway bridge, there’ll be some railway themes, and it will really lean into the old Victorian woodwork inside."

South Wales Argus: The interior is taking shapeThe interior is taking shape

Unlike the previous iteration of Delilah’s, there will not be a constant dancefloor – though some seating could be removed to allow for dance space if needed.

There is also potential for live music and entertainment, though that is not likely to be the main focus of the project.

Instead, the focus will be on higher end restaurant food, with plans to open the venue up during the day time for food, before dimming the lights and playing pop hits later in the day.