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Spennymoor's Top Hat returns
A TOWN centre nightclub that stood empty for more than a year has reopened under its old name in a bid to recreate some of its glory years.
The Top Hat, in Spennymoor, hosted a VIP night yesterday (Thursday, December 19) for invited guests before it officially opened to the public today (Friday, December 20).
The High Street venue has a sports and entertainments bar downstairs with a pool club, which opens tomorrow (Saturday, December 21), and a private poker club, opening in mid January, upstairs.
New owner, Chris Bowron, from Bishop Auckland, hopes changing its name from The Cube back to The Top Hat will help him resurrect the club as a ‘go-to’ venue.
He said: “My parents talked about the Top Hat, even when it had a different name everyone always called it the Top Hat and related to it so I wanted to get a bit of that positivity back.”
The club opened as The Top Hat in 1966 and was a fashionable venue throughout the 1970s and hosted chart acts like The Drifters, Lulu and the Merseybeat set.
Almost a decade ago, as The Cube, the club enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity and attracted some big name dance and house disc jockeys including Judge Jules.
But its operation was subsequently reduced to a daytime café then, around a year ago, it closed altogether.
Mr Bowron, who has worked in the hospitality industry for 17 years, said: “I bought the club in September, it was derelict but I saw potential, particularly in its size, and had a vision for it.
“Six weeks of renovation by entirely local tradesmen has got it ready for opening and renovation will be ongoing throughout 2014 to create the Top Hat Entertainment Lounge with a stage and big lighting and sound system.
“I plan to have big well known acts like comedians, singers, groups and sportsman’s dinners on every three months or so with good quality live entertainment, functions and celebrations in between.”
The club has created employment for 14 people and Mr Bowron expects to employ around 50 staff once all parts of the business are operating.
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