SAD DAY: Nu Orleans Burlesque Lounge will close at the end of March. Owner Katrina Lee took over in September of last year.
SAD DAY: Nu Orleans Burlesque Lounge will close at the end of March. Owner Katrina Lee took over in September of last year. Rob Williams

Burlesque lounge blames CBD redevelopment for closure

THE owner of a business that will shut its doors next month has blamed the redevelopment of the city's central business district for a significant downturn in trade.

Nu Orleans Burlesque Lounge, which offered free burlesque shows for diners, will close its doors on March 31 and Katrina Lee believes it is only a matter of time before many more follow in her footsteps.

She only took over the establishment, previously known as just Nu Orleans, in September of last year and added the entertainment aspect to bring a fresh attraction to the city.

Ms Lee said the previous business had started to suffer in 2017 when the Ipswich Mall started its closure and a number of professional services cleared out.

"We've done basically everything we can by the marketing books," she said.

"It's just not enough. We're not seeing the foot traffic. The downturn in trade has been ridiculous.

"It's so sad to see that Ipswich is becoming a ghost town in the CBD."

On Wednesday, it did $30 in lunch trade.

Ms Lee said once banks, doctors, lawyers and real estate agents moved out of the mall, there was little incentive for people to visit the surrounding businesses.

"There should have been stages put in place so we didn't lose that trade," she said.

"There is no support for the infrastructure (in the mall). There is no infrastructure in the CBD in Ipswich whatsoever," she said.

"Once you take those professional businesses out of the CBD, you're basically killing it."

Seven employees will be on the search for new jobs but the lounge's nine dancers have been invited to perform regularly at Banshees Bar and Art Space on Brisbane St.

Ms Lee said she was not the only business that is suffering and the closure of the Birch Carroll and Coyle cinemas will be another blow.

"There are over 50 stores throughout Brisbane St and the mall that are empty and have been empty for months," she said.

"Businesses along Brisbane St that have been there ten years will not renew their leases. I've done the walk and I've talked to the people. They're not going to stay.

"You're just going to see more closures of businesses over the next two years."

A banquet long table event will be held on March 23 to give the lounge "the send off that it deserves."



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