1:20pm Saturday 3rd March 2012
By Simon Moss
A NEW operator has taken over Basingstoke’s biggest nightspot and is planning a grand re-opening next month, The Gazette can exclusively reveal.
Wonderland Nightclub, as it will be known, will open on April 5 on the site of the former Liquid club, which closed its doors in November last year after its parent company went into administration.
Wonderland is owned by entertainment company No Saints Ltd, which runs two other nightclubs in Sutton and Mansfield. The venues have an Alice in Wonderland theme, and bosses say the new venue will provide something “completely different”.
Ian Mayor, general manager for the nightspot in Basingstoke, said: “We want to entertain people, especially in Basingstoke, but also to draw others in who might otherwise go out in Winchester or Fleet. We want it to be a safe environment where people can come with their friends and have a good time.
“It is not going to be just about beer bottles and alcopops. We have some really good cocktails and are looking at getting some acts in to perform, but I cannot say who just yet. It will be a really fun, quirky night out.”
Mr Mayor, 25, said he knows anti-social behaviour and violence was an issue at the former venue, and has pledged that the safety of customers will be a top priority.
He added: “We are excited. It is a great venue and we are looking forward to becoming part of Basingstoke. We are aware that there has been some trouble in the past, but our primary concern will be safety. We want to entertain people and part of being entertained is not being punched in the face.
“It is an exciting time for us but also for Basing-stoke. I can guarantee this venue will offer something completely new.”
The nightclub is being rented to Wonderland by Festival Place shopping centre.
Jane Stewart, marketing manager at Festival Place, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement on the nightclub which will bring new vibrancy to Basingstoke’s nightlife.
“Festival Place is more than a shopping centre – it is a social hub for Basingstoke and the surrounding areas. Having confirmed a new operator, we are confident that the club, when it re-opens in April, will be a fantastic new nightlife venue.”
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