End of an era for nightclub

KARTOUCHE nightclub has closed.The Ipswich club welcomed clubbers for the final time on Monday and its doors will now not reopen until the venue has undergone a complete refit.

KARTOUCHE nightclub has closed.

The Ipswich club welcomed clubbers for the final time on Monday and its doors will now not reopen until the venue has undergone a complete refit. It is set to relaunch under a new name under at the end of November.

Co-owner Kerpal Baines said: "We've had a great response here and there are quite a lot of sad people. We are equally sad to shut.

"I hope a lot of people will look back on Kartouche and regard it as part of their upbringing."

In reference to the work that now lies ahead, he continued: "I promise to come back with an exciting scheme which entails imagination, excitement and top talking points.

"Watch this space and prepare yourselves for getting your Christmas bookings sorted at what will be the best venue in Suffolk yet again."

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Over the coming months a lot of money will be ploughed into the Princes Street venue to remove the look of Kartouche and give the new club, which has yet to be given a name, a fresh feel.

The aim is to create a venue that is completely different and offers a completely new clubbing experience. Though there are restrictions, due to the building's listed status, there will be six new features downstairs including a log cabin room. This will have a mock real fire as the centrepiece, with comfy seating all around and is designed for people to chill out away from the main room and enjoy a whole bottle of wine or champagne – rather than buying it by the glass. There will also be a feature which at the moment remains a closely guarded secret but which is set to get clubbers in Ipswich talking.

Meanwhile the upstairs room will be completely opened up to incorporate the balcony area. However, it will now be totally closed in to separate the music being played on the main dancefloor.

Mr Baines said: "The new club will be bright with a nice ambience geared toward the older market. It will be clean cut, stylish, plush and mature with the emphasis on quality.

"What we did four years ago when Kartouche opened was more fantasy to make it feel like you were on holiday in Morocco. We pitched the whole thing on a theme.

"This is going to be about quality and choice."

The closure and refurbishment of Kartouche comes as venue owners around the town invest money into brightening up Ipswich's nightlife.

The Old Rep reopened in Ipswich town centre earlier this year with a new look and is now known as The Rep.

Luminar Leisure recently ploughed £250,000 into Chicago Rock Café, in Upper Brook Street, and is currently spending money on changing and updating the look of Liquid nightclub in Cardinal Park.

And the venue that was home to Liberty's, Opium Lounge and Buddha during the past decade is undergoing another reincarnation and is set to open again in the next couple of months.

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