Christmas light DJ to open new Ipswich bar

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A DJ who hung up Christmas lights for a care home during lockdown has opened a bar in Ipswich. 

Gareth Harper – also known as DJ Garfie – has had a tough 18 months before taking over the site of former cocktail bar Degero, in St Nicholas Street. 

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Gareth Harper says the new bar will attract people in their 30s and 40s who still want to boogie - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The 38-year-old said: "It's been a horrific time right up to the end of lockdown. 

"It's been brutal and horrific trying to get the business back on track. 

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Bar Twenty One opens this weekend - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"It's been really difficult to get a break when everything has been closed." 

But Mr Harper did not become disheartened by the climate during the pandemic after losing £100,000 in earnings.

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Bar Twenty One will have a tapas menu and play 90s music with a DJ in the evenings. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Having no income from his DJ business Romeo Done, he held a series of live-streamed events for local charities. 

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At one of these online music marathons, which lasted at times for 24 hours, he raised £90,000 and another made £6,000. 

He helped young people's charity Ormiston Families and domestic abuse support service Lighthouse Women's Aid in January 2021

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Inside the new Bar Twenty One - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mr Harper also started running Mr Fairy Lights, a Christmas lights service during lockdown.

He supported Woodfield Court care home's display in Stowmarket by putting up lights after it was torn down by vandals in December 2020. 

The DJ will not be doing this again as he will soon open Bar Twenty One this weekend. 

"I just haven't got time for that anymore," he added. 

Bar Twenty One will have a tapas menu and play 90s music with a DJ in the evenings. 

"The town is missing something for the older generation, people in their 30s and 40s. 

Gareth Harper has opened a Tapas bar in former Degeros site in St Nicholas Street

Gareth Harper is offering special discounts for hospitality workers - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"They still want to go out for a drink and go for a boogie," said Mr Harper. 

The venue will offer 40% discount off everything for hospitality staff as he felt they have been particularly hit by the pandemic. 

This discount is available during industry nights with a valid exclusive card, which you can pick up from the bar this Sunday. 

Bar Twenty One's opening night will be at 11 St Nicholas Street from 11am to 3am on Friday, October 29.

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