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‘Usually our customers show up at 10pm’ - Nightclub reopening event will fit around curfew

PUBLISHED: 09:15 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:17 07 October 2020

Ben Jay (left), Kelly Evans and Howard Marshall - the forces behind The Ocean Room x The Room opening event on Saturday. Photo: Howard Marshall

Ben Jay (left), Kelly Evans and Howard Marshall - the forces behind The Ocean Room x The Room opening event on Saturday. Photo: Howard Marshall

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A nightclub is opening its doors for the first time since March on Saturday - but is making sure they’re firmly closed again by 10pm.

Coronation Kings performing at 'The Room' at Ocean Room in February. Photo: Gordon WoolcockCoronation Kings performing at 'The Room' at Ocean Room in February. Photo: Gordon Woolcock

The Ocean Room in Gorleston, one of Norfolk’s best-known clubs, is teaming up with local events organiser Howard Marshall to host an acoustic night on October 10, where guests will be seated six-to-a-table and bands will perform “unplugged”.

Named ‘The Room’, the event usually takes place three times a year, and most recently in February featured a surprise performance from Rag’n’Bone Man.

Mr Marshall, known as ‘H’, said reduced capacity from 1,100 to 350 means the evening will not be as “high tempo” as usual - but that scaling back lends itself more to “listening and chilling” rather than outright partying.

“That’s exactly what we need to meet with the Covid guidelines put in place by the government”, H said.

The Ocean Room nightclub in Gorleston, now run in partnership between Kelly Evans and her cousin Ben Jay. Photo: Howard MarshallThe Ocean Room nightclub in Gorleston, now run in partnership between Kelly Evans and her cousin Ben Jay. Photo: Howard Marshall

“It’s been a tough year for events organisers, but at least this will be something different. I think this scaled back version of ‘The Room’ might even end up sticking around once normal life has resumed.”

For Kelly Evans, general manager at The Ocean Room, the curfew came as a shock - but she is confident it can be worked around.

She said: “It’s been terrible for nightclubs, because we literally haven’t been able to do anything for months.

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“We had some help from the council with a hospitality grant, but other than that have made no money.

“The curfew has meant most events we’d planned for the latter part of the year have had to be cancelled or postponed - since most of our customers don’t turn up before 10pm anyway.”

But she added that lockdown hadn’t been a total write off.

“I’ve teamed up with my cousin Ben Jay who has come into partnership with me”, she said.

“He’s refitted all the lights using his expertise from the Hippodrome, and we’ve redecorated our Moroccan theme into a Gatsby/art deco one instead.

“It looks fresh and exciting, and we’re hoping that’s a pull for people.

“Luckily for us, we’re a big venue, so we’re going to try and do more functions that can work around the curfew.

“The event on Saturday will start at 6.30pm and run until 9.30pm, but doors will be open from 5.30pm so that guests can arrive and be shown to their table.”

Visit www.oceanroom.co.uk to purchase tickets.

MORE: Rag’n’Bone Man performs secret Norfolk gig


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