Good Venue Guide: 37 Hanover Grand W1
Sunday 14 June 1998
Brief history: originally a Masonic Hall, Joseph Lewis (currently Britain's fourth richest man) turned it into a restaurant and banqueting hall specialising in opulent Jewish receptions. Lewis then hired Robert Earl to manage the restaurant, and he too has gone on to fame and fortune as owner of the Planet Hollywood chain of restaurants. Vacant for approximately 10 years from 1984, it re-opened as the Hanover Grand nightclub. Twysden Moore and Simon Oldham bought the Hanover in 1997, and subsequently gutted and completely resconstructed the venue. It is now one of the capital's premiere clubs.
The building: you might miss the unprepossessing entrance during the day, though you won't miss the queues or the larger-than-door bouncers on club nights. The interior may no longer be as dressed-up as its clientele, but the main dance floor still retains the feel of an ostentatious ballroom, with a high ceiling, a sweeping staircase and a gallery from which to view the frenzied clubbers below.
Events: celebrity parties and intimate rock gigs are held at the club on a regular basis; David Bowie combined the two in his exclusive concerts here last year. Its club nights are huge, and `The Next Big Thing' every Thursday (pounds 12; 10.30pm-4am) is notoriously popular: unless you're either royalty or a member of the showbiz elite, prepare to queue. Unfortunately, the gig scheduled for this Tuesday by Black Box Recorder, the latest musical foray by the Auteurs' Luke Haines, has been rescheduled due to the proposed tube strike. Tickets for the rearranged concert on 7 July are pounds 7 (0171 499 7977)
Strange but true: Spice Girl Mel B was recently so pleased to be drinking at the Grand she got a tad carried away - and then got carried out.
How to get there: Oxford Circus tube and a stroll down Regent St.
Where to meet and eat: Soho's eateries are a hop, skip and a jump away.
Cost of a glass of wine: pounds 3.
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