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The best lost nightclubs in Nottingham

todayJune 12, 2022 1

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There are tons of lost names and disappeared buildings in Nottingham’s nightclub scene. But long after the lights turn on and the speakers go silent for the last time, those great memories carry on.

Making new best friends and dancing with old ones, cheap and cheerful drinks at the bars, pulling your tired feet out of the stickiest of carpets – we’ve all been there. Whether they were top-end or dingy dives, there’s always stories to tell.

Last week we asked you to fill in our survey, and decide on Nottingham’s best nightclub of the past. You also gave us your favourite memories from the city’s clubland institutions, big and small, and they were wonderful to read.

SEE MORE:Eerie photos of Nottingham’s estates and tower blocks through an 80s lens

There was a great spread of votes, with no runaway winners. There really was something for everyone in Nottingham.

Most popular – Black Orchid

Edging ahead by a pair of votes was Black Orchid. Redfield Way’s club later became Isis, before that too closed in 2009.

Home to an early performance by Take That, and drinking hole for a whole bevy of celebs, the Orchid had star power. What was it like for everyone else?



Manager Ian Harries poses with the refurbished Black Orchid.
Manager Ian Harries poses with the refurbished Black Orchid.

One commenter said “Us men would have to wear a smart suit to gain entry only to lose the tie and jacket on the dance floor to Ride On Time, The Only Way Is Up and many more. My future wife of 20 years down the line would reject my chat until she eventually caved in many years later.”

Another pined for their younger years. “Great memories where the music was always great, everyone always had a good night even though it was a bus ride from the city. Everyone made it a great night from the DJ to the bar staff. Miss those nights it’s not the same when you are older!”



Busy nights at the Black Orchid, 1990.
Busy nights at the Black Orchid, 1990.

“Monday night student night,” recalled one person. “Celebrated my 21st at the Black Orchid, a few drinks in Sawyers first then on to the Black Orchid,” remembered another.

“Great cheese night at Black Orchid,” said another – a key ingredient for a great club. One person “ended my hen do there” – not a bad place to spend your last weeks of freedom.

Honourable mentions

As mentioned, there was a good spread of votes. Cookie Club was your second favourite nightclub of the past. “Loved Cookie Club… no pretensions – everyone there to have a good time. Spent most weekends there between 2004-2008,” said one person.

“Best indie nights ever”, “dancing on the stage”, “Wednesday student nights”, “Great music at the Cookie Club” – we’re sensing a soft spot for this one.

Others close to the top of the pile were The Garage (“the music and atmosphere was electric”), and Hippo (“Jonno who owned the club was a legend”).

Solid mid-table options included Media (“Hasselhoff nights”) and Ritzy (“Spent a lot of my youth in here, loved it”). Isabella’s was special for a specific crew – “used to be the main hang out for all the restaurant staff in Nottingham after closing time. Had some awesome nights there”. Glowing reviews for a whole host of Nottingham’s favourites, from a distant neon-lit past. We had it good!

What are the key ingredients of a good nightclub? Comment below, and join us on Facebook for more.

See more history and nostalgia here!

Written by: thehitnetwork

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