When Soho Clubs & Bars, owner of Jewel in Piccadilly Circus and Wardour Street’s Village, collapsed earlier this week, concerns were raised for the group’s 300 or so employees. Happily, a buyer has stepped in and bought the seven venues, ensuring staff will remain in gainful employment. In possibly less encouraging news for the future of decent West End nightclubs, the buyer was today revealed as Novus Leisure, owner of Haymarket club and last summer’s terrorist target, Tiger, Tiger.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Tiger, Tiger that mecca for confused Eurotourists who haven’t sussed that the Leicester Square environs are populated by money-rinsing “attractions”? You’d be right. You may also have heard of the urban myth, whereby a statute dating from the time of Ethelred the Unready states that it is illegal for “those goode citizens of London borne” to step through the gates of Tiger, Tiger, with offenders liable to be clapped in irons and shipped off to the Tower for a particularly vigorous neck massage from a man with a shiny blade.
Friends, it’s nonsense: London-dwelling folk have visited Tiger, Tiger and survived (notwithstanding the obligatory 2am blackouts and those homeward kebab peccadilloes). If you’re looking to pay over the odds for entry into a garishly decorated bar where suspiciously bearded Swedes and hooch-swinging hens bump and grind against each other in the grand hoary whirl of bacchanalian excess, then it’s a perfect night out.
Tiger Tiger has pedigree: it wasn’t voted one of ViewLondon’s worst places in London in 2006 for nothing, you know. Should these newly-procured bars reproduce the TT experience then simply think of them as an extra hanging of flypaper, attracting the glute-grabbing dancehards and leaving the classier clubs for you and your crew to throw shapes without having to fend off unwanted advances.
Picture of a far better tiger courtesy of nic0′s Flickrstream