10 Iconic Clubs You Wished Were Still Open
One thing is clear: too many great clubs have closed in recent years. Why? Because gentrification is forcing many of these businesses to shut their doors so big companies can replace them with soulless gastropubs. Or, as Soulwax band member David Dewaele says, ‘the sound police are taking the fun away’.
Here’s a list of 10 iconic clubs that have closed over the years:
The underground party den of the roaring ’20’s. Opened in 1923, this Harlem jazz club was especially popular during America’s Prohibition era. It hosted the likes of Duke Ellington and Mae West, but was forced to close temporarily during a race riot in 1936 before reopening at Broadway soon after. However, as rent increased, tastes changed, and New York nightclubs went under tax fraud investigation, the Cotton Club closed permanently in 1940.
If you were a northern soul fan in the ’70’s, this was the place to be. Opened in 1973 in Wigan, northwest England, the Wigan Casino welcomed four million partygoers to experience its unique Motown-inspired sub-culture. Unfortunately, it closed in 1981 due to funding issues.
One of Manhattan’s favourite hideouts for new wave and punk rock. Opened in New York in 1973, CBGB stood for Country, BlueGrass and Blues. Sadly, like many other venues, it closed in 2006 because of rent issues.
Studio 54 in New York was where anyone who was anyone came to party. Legendary for its rigorous door policy as well its debauchery, it set the agenda for pretty much any super club that followed. Opened in 1977, this venue survived well into the ’80’s. But there’s no doubt that its peak coincided with the height of disco, 1977 to 1979.
A true home to house music! Open from 1977 to 1987, Paradise Garage (sometimes known as Gay-rage!) was famed for its resident DJ, Larry Levin, just as disco’s popularity faded in the ’80s.
A nightclub and water park combined. Ku, opened as a disco venue in 1979, was nicknamed the open-air Studio 54. The venue even had a swimming pool and a waterslide – perhaps not the greatest idea when it comes to health and safety! It changed ownership and was re-branded as Privilege in 1995 and claimed to be “the world’s largest nightclub”.
One of the latest casualties of the London nightlife scene. This legendary Soho cabaret and club venue, opened in 1982, was forced to close in 2014 because of an incident between bouncers and a customer. However, some see this as a deliberate attempt by Westminster Council to force through gentrification. Nevertheless, the packed dance floor welcomed an extremely diverse clientele, which would arrive in anything from sportswear to burlesque.
Once famed for its legendary ‘Nude’ Friday house nights. The Haçienda, opened in sunny Manchester in 1982, was one of Britain’s great rave and acid house venues, closing in 1997 due to financial difficulties.
The underground capital of the ’90’s. Although Cream eventually turned into a brand which was exported to Ibiza, it became iconic soon after opening in sunny Liverpool in 1992. That’s because it put house music right into the mainstream, boasting the best DJs and underground scene in the country until its closure in 2002.
Okay, well technically this is still open. However, Fabric, arguably London’s leading multi-genre venue since opening in 1999, did close temporarily in 2016 due to drug incidents. It was only reopened this year on special conditions, one of which was to drastically reduce the number of Playaz drum and bass nights – one of the club’s highlights! That’s after having been ranked the best club in the entire world by DJ Magazine – twice. See a pattern evolving here?