Luminar pays pounds 34m for clubs

LUMINAR, THE leisure company that owns the Chicago Rock Cafe chain, yesterday said it would buy 27 bars and nightclubs, including the Hippodrome in London's Leicester Square, from Allied Leisure for pounds 34.5m in cash.

An out-of-towner and his seven-floor superclub gatecrash London's scene

BRITAIN'S MOST hyped dance phenomenon, a seven-storey "superclub" in Leicester Square called Home, will belaunched this Thursday. According to copious marketing material the 2,000-capacity club "incorporates cutting edge modern design with 21st- century technological chutzpah while maintaining all the most cherished elements of the traditional club".

Sketchbook: `Is that really me?'

Street artists from around the world ply their trade in London's Leicester Square. For around the price of a CD you can't expect a masterpiece, but some degree of draughtsmanship is to be hoped for. Maggie O'Farrell asked the punters if they were impressed

We all have so many tears to shed - it's enough to make a man weep

While the world was protecting its eyes last Wednesday, staring into buckets to watch the reflected sky go dark, I was weeping buckets of my own. You could say the two events were not unconnected: there is nothing like interplanetary activity, after all, for reminding you of your own insignificance. But insignificance wasn't the reason I was blubbering. Quite the opposite. A sudden, piercing vision of human grandeur, the immensity of our appetite for sorrow - that's what set me off. And what more cause for shedding copious tear do you need, than that you have copious tears to shed?

Allied Leisure ups European bid

ALLIED LEISURE, the Megabowl and Burger King operator, yesterday raised its agreed all-share bid for European Leisure by 17 per cent - to the equivalent of 97.5p a share - in an attempt to deal a knockout blow to the hostile offer from its smaller rival, Waterfall Holdings, which last month trumped its initial agreed offer.

Restaurants: Where shall we meet in Leicester Square?

Tiger Tiger is doing very well. Being enormous, and just round the corner from the Leicester Square, they have a good chance of doing well. It's a convenient location, and, unless you want to go to the cinema, which is the only other reason for being in the area, you can do your whole night's entertainment under the one roof, thereby foregoing the pleasures of being shanghaied by buskers, and made to walk very, very slowly behind groups of Japanese tourists. They have a bar that turns into a nightclub, and a restaurant.

Travel: Passport

Getting lost is part of the fun for serious travellers, though it could hurt their chances of romance

Snooker: The Anniversary - Hail an extraordinary Joe

44 years ago Joe Davis made the first officially ratified 147 maximum break

Is Leicester square? Not in this adventurous theatre

IT IS more than 100 miles off the West End tourist trail but Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, proves a big enough draw to attract a crowd of 300 on a Wednesday afternoon.

Eating Out: Restaurant news

Hot, happening and opening soon

Exit Poll: Voodoo Lounge, Leicester Square, London

I LIKE IT, it's nicely decorated and I like the Terry O'Neill photographs. The one of Terence Stamp and Jean Shrimpton I want. I want to join, but the membership is full up. The licensing hours are good, the furniture is great, and even the toilets are nice. I'll be coming back. I just hope they don't have an arsey door policy because the bouncer was giving it the big I-am and I don't think London needs another place like that.

Focus group threat to city pedestrian plan

CAMPAIGNERS FEAR plans to pedestrianise the heart London could be under threat.

WORDS OF THE WEEK; The perfect kiss-off: flattery, then the boot

Steven Berkoff, right, has been reading a selection of short stories on Radio 4. This is an extract from `The Agent', a bleak tale about an actor who cannot find work

WINNING DRUMS AT THE SOUTH BANK

Rhythm Sticks, the festival of drumming and percussion from across the globe returns for a third year to the Royal Festival Hall, from tomorrow to 20 July.

Letter: Tories to blame for the beggars' plight

Sir: I would heartily agree with Suzanne Moore's article on safer streets (8 January). We need a better, richer street life.
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