A former snooker club which was reported to have been used as a cannabis farm by criminals after it closed down is being given a new lease of life as a bar.  

Work has started to move a Whitefield tribute bar into the old Rileys Snooker Club on Bury New Road in Prestwich in the hopes that it can be open by November.

The owners of the Icons tribute bar and restaurant said they were told that the derelict site was raided by police who discovered a large amount of cannabis being grown inside. 

Bury Times: New Icons location

Since then, the site has remained unused and an "eyesore", a problem which Icons co-owner, Roberto Polacco, wants to make a thing of the past. 

He said: “The job has been far too big for the two of us, me and Adrian, who opened Icons together in 2021, so we now have three new business partners.

Bury Times: Work has started inside the venueWork has started inside the venue (Image: NQ)

“We have had such an amazing time at the old venue on Higher Lane in Whitefield but we needed the bigger venue.

“When we first looked in here, there was no electricity, so we had to walk around with phone torches dodging debris and all sorts, it was a mess, but the team have done an incredible job clearing it up so far.

"In just a few days everything has been ripped apart by construction workers and we are going to turn this into one of Manchesters' biggest entertainment bars and restaurants by November." 

Rob and Adrian Edwards have been joined in their venture by new partners Damien Strong, Peter Strong and Phillip Wheeldon.

Bury Times: Adrian Edwards, Roberto Polacco and Damien Strong

They hope that the bigger site will have a daytime and evening area, which can be opened up and separated by dividers as well as a "huge stage" for performers.

Rob said that although they will have some tributes, they are looking to introduce more celebrities and bands to their new and regular customers.

They are also looking to host events such as "comedy nights" and "Magic Mike" nights whilst catering to hen, stag and birthday parties.

Bury Times: New Icons location

Adrian said: “We couldn’t do all this if we didn’t have these lads [our new partners] and although it might be hard to see our vision right now, work on the site only started on Monday and we have already managed to clear out so much space.

“We will be introducing a whole new menu as we are going be catering to a lot more people and we are starting to look at what we will include soon.”

Bury Times: Roberto Polacco and Adrian Edwards at the old venue Roberto Polacco and Adrian Edwards at the old venue (Image: NQ)

The previous venue is said to have welcomed around 50 people "at a push" whereas the new location aims to accommodate around 200.

Rob added that they are also looking to collect a list of names to invite to their opening night, which will be headlined by a well known celebrity.

He said: “We want to look at getting planning permission to put decking in on the front of the venue so people can sit there during the day and we can really stand out when people are coming into Prestwich.

“Years ago, there use to be so many entertainment venues where you can get food, drinks and watch a performance or a show although they seem to have gradually disappeared.

“We want to fill this space and bring that back.”