September 23 2014 Latest news:
By Lauren Rogers
Monday, April 7, 2014
Showgirls, live music and an American diner - the curtain is almost up on Great Yarmouth’s new bar and nightclub.
The former Mecca Bingo hall in Regent Road has been refurbished and renamed Stars.
The show bar and club, which is being run by father and son publicans Ian and Adam Bromwich, will officially open its doors on Saturday, and is already planning to stage live shows alongside club nights to cater for all ages.
When the scheme was granted planning permission by Great Yarmouth Borough Council earlier this year, councillors reasoned a new bar would help keep a night-time economy in town when much of it is migrating to Norwich.
And speaking ahead of the grand unveiling, Adam, 30, said the show bar has created 15 new part-time jobs.
“It’s really exciting; we can’t wait to open,” said Adam, who also runs the Marine pub in Marine Parade.
Ian, 62, said it had only taken a couple of weeks to clear out the old bingo machines but months to carry out the rest of the work inside the ornate Grade-II listed building.
Decorative balcony boxes, the balustrade and grand staircases have been repainted, a new bar has been fitted and the stage updated.
“This place is huge and it’s definitely been the most ambitious thing we’ve done yet,” said Ian.
“We’ve never done anything of this size before. We’d been looking for a venue for a while and had looked at places on the seafront, but this was perfect.”
Historic photos of the venue, which opened in 1914 as the Regent Cinema, have been used to help guide the refurbishment of the main hall and the former tearoom.
The club, which boasts two bars and VIP areas, now has a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.
It will be open seven days a week, and until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Each week club-goers will be able to see the Viva Floorshow featuring feather-wearing dancing girls and special events are taking place throughout the year, starting with a family clown show on April 13, 1980s band Doctor and the Medics on April 19, and a boxing tournament on May 10.
Adjoining Stars is the Hollywood Diner, an American-themed cafe.
When presenting the planning application earlier this year, Stephen Barrett, on behalf of the Bromwich family, played down fears of noise from the nightclub side of the proposal.
He said takeaways in the area already open late and Regent Road is a thoroughfare from the town centre to seafront bars.
And he explained the idea for 4am opening was for people to stay and chat after shows, with an entry charge, smart dress policy and experienced doormen.