Went to the new clubs last night. Ministry of Sound / minibar / kandi bar in Harrogate. I think they win the prize, hands down, no question asked for the “how much can you change a venue from it’s previous incarnation” competition. As they have knocked out all the kitchens the floor space of upstairs is utterly different. A huge optic fiber waterfall effect is one of the first things to greet you as you walk into the brightly lit main bar area which straddles the space with a DJ booth to the left. Behind the main bar, corridors and small rooms, booths and walkways and a dance room. The dance room (called ‘The Box’ I believe) does what it says on the tin – it’s a blacked out room with a huge stack of bass cabs at the back some lights and a DJ at the front. A hot tub room, a video diary room a room with hanging chairs, booths with table top order your drinks machines and a gray corridor with a concave wall. Downstairs, same structure as before with a new glass internal lobby and huge white beds and chairs. Musically, it didn’t offend or excite but the sound system is superb.
Last night was rammed (first public opening night) and It took me 22 minutes to get a beer and because of the new structure a dense knot of people formed to the right of the main bar where traffic from / to the entrance and the top of the stairs is. The design is ‘out of this world’ and there are some never been seen before (in Harrogate anyway) concepts in there. There’s an intentional (?) lack of focus, the designers have succeeded in creating a venue with so many different look and feels. The security staff all wear a similar uniform to my kids school uniforms (Burgundy jumper, dark trousers). The foot flow problem was probably compounded because everyone (including me) wanted a good wander round and didn’t know where anything was etc. Overall impression was that it’s an amazing bit of spend, and I think I’d like it if it weren’t so rammed.
After that I went to The Moko Lounge also in Harrogate. This used to be po na na’s. Same structure as it was apart from a moved DJ booth, different decor – very red, very dark (but not dingy) . The new sound system is superb, John Hebden was playing a disco / funk / soul set which sounded cool. The atmosphere was laid back and the service was good and ended up having a good night out.