TagLuminar

Carnage said to dress as Nympho Nurses…

Carnage said to dress as Nympho Nurses. So we dressed as doctors.

Ready now!

Hey up Hanley – here we come.

T shirts to sign; bars to visit; drinks to drink; people to meet ……….. bring it on.

First stop – Chicago’s – Loved this one – Great local bar/club atmosphere. Safe. Comfortable. Appreciated the layout and the atmosphere. Friendly staff; definitely coming back here.

Then to Manhattan for the same again; no doubt where our local haunts will be.

Next call – Walkabout – unfortunately a bit boring. Too predictable and bland. Probably the reason for poor attendance. Revolution only slightly better. Small. Just OK.

Think we got the student bit wrong though. Streets full of staggering students, hanging onto each other. It seemed that everyone else was very drunk.

And to Liquid, but not for long; it was absolutely packed. We were unable to move around; as though everyone was on someone else`s back. Stairs were blocked. Not good, and definitely not for us. One of our group had a panic attack. Thought her number was up.

Out of the building as fast as we could.

As though we needed an excuse to leave – who the hell was in control here?

Never again – we hated the place.

On reflection –

Best part of the night the people and atmosphere at Chicago`s and Manhattan.

The worst part of the night – Well – Think you get the picture.

 

Chicago's Hanley

Wonder what Chavvy is? Only saw friendly people enjoying their night out.

Seems that some think in Hanley that clubbers in Newcastle under Lyme are up themselves – and that some in Newcastle under Lyme think Hanley clubbers are Chavvy!

Get real. We`re all the same inside. We all enjoy a good bop. We all need to relax. So move on.

Spent last night in Hanley. Not busy. So explored a bit. Found a gem.

Walkabout OK. Reminds me of a little bit of every other bar I’ve been in lately. Friendly. OK. Much  talk of the recent Carnage night. Not good. Reckon the promotors make at least four thousand pounds profit in each town each night. Do it by risking licences and safety of others.

Who are the mugs there?

Liquid. Buy one drink. Get two free. No no no. Not cheaper….Better. Barn of a place. Shame no parking – big enough for a B&Q warehouse. Not bad. Just empty. Friendly staff.

Manhattan quite busy. Nice new seating area. Friendly staff. Andy the manager chatting to everyone. Like it.

Got lost then found The Factory.

Hey this is good. Gay/straight friendly. Safest club in town? Manager Paul and door staff brilliant. Definitely one for a girl`s night out.

Wonder how many people came to Hanley from Newcastle under Lyme.

Wonder what Chavvy is?

Only saw friendly people enjoying their night out.


Image from csi.mmu.ac.uk

No one ever cared more about his nightclub than Mike Knight at Nottingham Palais/Ritzy

No ever cared more about his nightclub than Mike Knight at Nottingham Ritzy.

Mike had nurtured and cared for the club for decades, initially as part of Mecca as the Palais and Ritzy, and finally under the stewardship of Luminar Leisure.

He also settled himself into local history as being one of the permanent personalities in the Nottingham entertainment world, and a capable pair of hands as far as safety, profits and reliability were concerned. In addition he has watched hundreds of thousands of dancers relaxing and enjoying the entertainment presented from his stage and DJ consuls.

We also hear that he was something of a dab hand on the old DJ decks himself.

Some days he could be a bit grumpy – especially with those he saw as being a threat to his business – and especially when the Black Orchid opened and he had to go into battle to keep his share of customers. But everyone respected him; and that remains.

What the Palais and Ritzy had in common was a genuine warmth of welcome for its eclectic mix of customers of all ages. Alongside music policies that suited everyone, which made the customers always come back for more. The Palais was the Palais, Ritzy was Ritzy. That was the order of things. They were always going to be there. And so was Mike…….But

When Jumpin Jacks came to Nottingham, everything changed.

Jumpin Jacks was a live entertainment led show bar, set on a rustic American Gold rush theme. Bar staff presented dance routines on stage, and much of the entertainment was provided by an up beat pianist.

“Just the thing for Ritzy customers”, suggested the Luminar old guard, “Ritzy can play more dance music – be more up to date.”

Consequently the Ritzy attendance dropped. On occasions it was possible to find six people dancing on the floor with a far away look on their faces, to beats and rhythms that were unfamiliar to the loyal customers who remained.

Clearly this was the end of Ritzy – and the overture to Oceana.

Mike resigned and now runs a successful training company, and is chairman of the Nottingham Pubwatch.

He also epitomises the spirit of the industry.

Mike Knight – Survivor!

The man who really cares.

 

Image from www.dreamtargets.com

Luminar, Oceana Nottingham and a manager determined to succeed.

It is always good to meet up with Pete Tormey, manager of Oceana Nottingham.

I first met him at Luminar`s Liquid and Envy complex at Rotherham, where his infectious style and enthusiasm transformed the business.

And he now faces the exciting challenges of Nottingham; where up to 30.000 people are said to participate in the evening and late night economy. As result, seemingly endless promotion teams in logo-ed outfits, try to persuade people to visit their particular club, with endless offers of free drinks and admission to a club that will surprise and delight!

Oceana, in line with most of the old regime of Luminar clubs seemed to be in need of a two way recovery. First from the policy of laptop/manual management, whereby the policy for every eventuality was set by head office – usually by those who maybe understood management theory, but had absolutely no idea of how to seek out effective nightclub management.

The Second recovery needs to be  from the damage done to some of the businesses as result of this policy – including the assumption that a nightclub was like a shop. Everything bought centrally, with a retail  manager to oversee the whole thing.

Recovery from this sounds like a tall order, but the enthusiasm and professionalism of Pete – and Paul Oloo at Lincoln – is testimony to the faith of Peter Marks and Joe Heeman from the new executive team – who now allow the managers the flexibility and freedom to retain more of the ownership and decision making for their businesses.

Pete has created an excellent atmosphere at Oceana, not only via his entertainment team, but also amongst his management and staff. He is now ready to seek out original promotions and events so as to capture the imagination of the public, local press and television.

In summary he is ready to take the positive Oceana message out into Nottingham.

Over the years hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed Pete`s club, be it in the name of The Palais and Ritzy or as the current Oceana. Many of these perhaps under the idyllic male  illusion that there were three women to every man in Nottingham.

I don`t know about that, but the city seemed to abound with extremely tall girls in very short skirts, leaving the shorter guys thinking they were in paradise! Although I am told that the whole image collapses when the towering high heals are discarded, and the image is somewhat shattered, as much shorter girls walk barefoot for buses and taxis home.

What wonderful hunting ground for a nightclub seeking to capture customers!

Luminar, Oceana Nottingham and a manager determined to succeed.

Go for it Pete!

 

Notes on a visit to Lincoln Jumpin Jaks – Ritzy and Pulse – July 1999

The following post comes from notes taken on a visit to Lincoln Jumpin Jaks – Ritzy and Pulse – July 1999, at the time when the Rank nightclubs were up for disposal. Rank had previously taken over the Mecca Dancing estate.

Of course the eventual outcome was that Luminar took over the whole of the Rank estate, with this venue currently (2012) being one of the Lincoln  success stories, under the management of Paul Aloo.

I understand that the club was originally a Cinderella Rockerfellas, under the Mecca Dancing banner. Mecca took over Stringfellows highly successful Leeds venue and rolled out the brand.

Now back to the visit –

Manager Mehmet Bekir explained that Barracuda was the main problem venue in the city, but there was general concern at the large number of bars within the central area. Mehmet was not particularly affable, which seemed contrary to the needs of a small city nightclub. However, his disco rooms successfully traded 6 nights per week, although things did not look so good in Jumpin Jaks. Despite this being the smallest of the brand it traded badly.

Mehmet had previously managed The Venue in Bedford, and was concerned incase another club were to open in the city.

Legends (Luminar) was his main opposition nightclub, which I had visited earlier and found to be very busy prior to 10pm. Then the subject of a mass exodus when the £1 drinks policy ended. Leaving mountains of uncollected bottles and glasses on the tables.

Goodness knows what Mehmet would have made of the current situation –

With Ritzy, Tokyos, Lola Li and Home all fighting it out for pole position in the city.

 

Images from Ritzy website

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