While a Tory councillor was grandstanding this week with a meeting to discuss Croydon’s “night-time economy” – attended by few under the age of 25, hardly any members of minority ethnic communities, and by one proven racist, all of whom presumably really know what makes for a good night out – meanwhile, just up the road, a brand new club has opened on the High Street after a £250,000 investment in a substantial refit.
The responses to the closure of Tiger Tiger last month have varied, from the borderline hysterical to disinterested shrugs of the shoulder.
That notorious Croydon night club’s closure was as a direct result of the venue’s landlords, eyeing “regeneration”, greedily increasing its rent to the lease-holders, which investigations by Inside Croydon have discovered had risen to a balls-breaking £91,000 per month. That’s a lot of seven-quid cocktails.
High rents charged by rapacious landlords did not seem to be among the topics discussed at Coulsdon councillor Mario Creatura’s little meeting.
Tiger Tiger’s home was in the Grants building – which includes the cinema, a health club, and a Wetherspoons pub. Ownership of the building changed hands last year, when multi-billion-pound investment company, Hermes Investment Management, paid £33 million for the listed former department store on the High Street, citing Croydon’s “regeneration potential”.
But now Croydon has a new night club, as Luna opened last Friday.
Clearly aimed at filling the gap left by Tiger Tiger, the owners, the Stonegate Pub Company, closed their nearby Reflex venue, with its diminishing appeal of 1970s and 1980s “chart-toppers”, and actually went ahead and spent some real money on providing a new venue which will appeal to the clubbing mainstream, few of whom are old enough to remember anything of the 20th Century, never mind the hits of Kajagoogoo.
Described as a “premium bar and nightclub”, Luna’s opening night enjoyed a packed house with Kiss FM’s The Dixon Brothers as special guest DJ.
The owners’ PRs describe Luna as offering “the most luxurious of surroundings for both early evening socialising and late-night enjoyment”. And yes, they too reckon they can ride the wave of promised prosperity that is supposed to be created by the town centre regeneration by Hammersfield, once it eventually arrives. If it eventually arrives.
Luna is open six days a week from 5pm until 2am on week nights and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. It has been fitted with a new sound and lighting system, and promises a wide selection of DJs through the week.
The clincher, though, is probably the pricing offer, with 50 per cent off all drinks until 9pm, giving the venue an appeal to an early evening customer base, rather than focusing all of its business on the late-night clubbers.
“We truly believe that Luna will be the start of the revival of Croydon’s late-night economy and we hope our significant investment into the venue demonstrates our commitment to the local area, and also to our loyal customer base,” said Alan Armstrong, Luna’s head of marketing.
“Not only will Luna be a fantastic late-night venue but also a luxury bar that’s ideal for a relaxing drink or two with friends – offering the best of both worlds.”
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