RUMOURS of the death of a Chester private members' club have been greatly exaggerated.
Many of Club Globe's 2,500-strong membership thought the venue would be shutting its doors when they saw a public notice saying the business was being wound-up.
But although Club Globe Ltd has gone into liquidation, the fixtures and fittings have been bought by Chester entrepreneur Mike Cooke, who will continue the club in its current form.
Stephen Wundke, a former shareholder in the old company who will stay on as licensee of the new venture, said it was a case of 'business as usual' for the club, which is based at the Steam Mill complex in Canalside.
Mr Wundke said former shareholder Vito Cecchini was retiring. Mr Cooke, a co-owner of Saltney-based Beresford Swift, installers of Sky satellite dishes, was taking over the club.
He said it was common practice for a new investor to buy a company's assets without buying the company itself but insisted Club Globe was 'still open and thriving'.
He said: 'If you are going to invest a lot of money, it means you are only responsible for what is there. It makes sure the new investment is safe, that what you have invested in does not have any liabilities.'
Mr Wundke used to be a shareholder in Club Globe, Chester's Paparazzi restaurant, the Boat Inn at Erbistock, Wrexham, The Globe club in Widnes and Ace Golf and Leisure Ltd.
He said 'for personal reasons' he had not been a shareholder in the businesses since January but was still involved in sales and marketing.
Speaking about the Club Globe bar and restaurant, he added: 'The idea is to keep the same name. The liquidator has to give permission. I would not imagine the name is worth terribly much.'
Mr Wundke said there was a misconception about the club. Contrary to popular belief, non-members can walk in off the street and order a meal.
'On a Friday and Saturday, it's heaving. The reason behind the private members club is to control numbers so that members get priority and people feel safe.
'We've never had any trouble but if there was any trouble, we could say to the individual 'you are no longer welcome'.
He said the age group of the clientele was 35-55, with most people working in white-collar occupations.
Ian Williamson of Campbell, Crossley & Davies, who was appointed liquidator for Club Globe Ltd at a creditors' meeting, said: 'The old company was insolvent.
'Effectively it could not afford to pay its debts and has gone into liquidation. It has been taken over by an investor who came along and is carrying on.
'I have been appointed liquidator and will deal with all the assets of the company.
'My job is to make sure the creditors get back as much of their money as possible.'