Battlefield Nottingham

Rivalry as Jongleurs returns to city

Jongleurs comedy club is set to return to Nottingham after a local businessman snapped up the rights to user the name.

And he says he has the backing of investors keen to open several other Jongleurs across the UK.

The move is likely to ignite fierce competition in Nottingham, as the city's long-established Just The Tonic has already announced plans for a custom-built 300-seat venue to open in March.

Just The Tonic promoter Darrell Martin controversially threw a party after his rival closed last year following the collapse of owner Regent Inns – but it seems his celebrations may have been premature.

Following the failure of Regent, many Jongleurs have been rebranded Highlight, as the original brand name reverted to founder Maria Kempinska and her business partner John Davy. But the Nottingham site closed down.

Now they have allowed David Elphick – a bar licensing consultant – to open up a Jongluers in Nottingham under franchise. He has earmarked three potential sites and will now decided which is the most viable – and says that his venue, like Just The Tonic's, will open in March.

Elphick is a former general manager of Jongleurs in Nottingham, and previously opened Media and Mode nightclubs in the city.

He said: 'With my experience gained in the industry, I am confident we will have the best staff, the best standards and the best comedy – I want to make Jongleurs in Nottingham the live entertainment venue by which others will measure their standards .

‘Nottingham has always been a great city for live comedy and I will do my very best to keep it that way.

Kempinska added: 'It will be wonderful to be back in Nottingham with such a brilliant operator as David Elphick and his team. The Jongleurs brand in his control will be a great success.’

She has already revivied the Jonglurs name for regular comedy nights at The Hammersmith Club in West London, and has others planned in The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, Coyote Ugly in Bournemouth and the Boardwalk in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.

Published: 9 Jan 2010

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