£2m son of Jongleurs

Chain's founder plans 10 new clubs

The woman behind the Jongleurs Comedy Club is planning a new chain of venues.

Multimillionaire Maria Kempinska says she’s looking to spend £2 million buying a central London site.

And she hopes to have ten clubs running within five years.

Kemplinska received £8.5million when she sold the Jongleurs chain, which then numbered eight clubs, to Regent Inns in 2000 in a deal that valued the company at £30 million. Another nine clubs have opened since

As part of the deal, she retained the rights to the name Jongleurs, but agreed not to open up in competition for at least five years. That time limit has now expired.

‘The handcuffs have come off me now,’ she told the Daily Telegraph’s business pages.

‘Initially I will start in central London and then feed out to my own chain of ten in the space of five years. I am using my own money and talking to investors.

‘We have a good working relationship with Regent. We are also looking to open Jongleurs brand clubs in Ireland and Spain for Regent, but my new UK clubs will be for us."

Former teacher Kemplinska founded Jongleurs above The Cornet pub in Battersea, South London, in 1983.

* A bouncer at Jongleurs’ Reading club has been suspended while police investigate claims he attacked carpet fitter Ryan Chandler while he was celebrating his 24th birthday at the club earlier this month.

Chandler was given six stitches after, he claims, the doorman repeatedly headbutted him in an unprovoked attack.

A club spokesman told the Reading Evening Post: ‘Jongleurs takes these allegations very seriously and incidents like this are very rare.’


Published: 28 Nov 2005

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