Dave Stewart's dream of a seven-storey superclub in the heart of London finally became a reality last night when the former Eurythmic threw open the doors of a one-time maternity hospital.
Stewart, who has a chequered record in his previous club ventures, is hoping to turn the 105-year-old building into Britain's most fashionable private members' club and a hub of London's creative arts.
The project has been jointly masterminded with Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, who was with Stewart at The Hospital's launch party in Covent Garden. The club opens to the public as a gallery and upmarket café today and from next year will turn some of its upper storeys into a private club for names from the music, film, radio and television industries. Planning permission was granted after a six-year fight.
A list of celebrities who will be invited to become members is being drawn up. It is likely to include Stewart's music business friends such as Bono, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Liam Gallagher, the Appleton sisters and Sir Elton John. Mr Allen counts among his friends Monica Seles, Geena Davis and Francis Ford Coppola.
Stewart's attempts to revitalise the name of the Marquee Club failed when it went into administration in January after four months. The musician has also seen his "artist-friendly" entertainment company Artist Network hit the rocks after a lack of financial backing.