Dec 9 2010 by David Holmes, Chester Chronicle
A VEGAS-STYLE show bar is opening in Chester early in the new year featuring comedy, music and poetry.
John Locke and Dave Coughlin, partners in The Commercial Hotel, are behind the venture which will be based in the former Deva Show Bar in Station Road, near the railway station.
In a former life John was marketing manager for Manchester’s Comedy Store and set up the North West Comedy Awards.
As a result, he is well connected in the comedy world and has had dealings with the likes of Alan Carr, Russell Brand, Johnny Vegas, Jason Manford, John Thomson and the late Frank Sidebottom.
That doesn’t mean Chester will be able to attract such household names all the time but John promises we will be treated to the ‘stars of tomorrow’.
The venue, to be called The Laugh Inn, will be divided into a studio space and bar for 150 with the main auditorium seating 220 on the ground floor and about 160 on a mezzanine balcony above.
John, who is close friends with Paddy McGuiness and several actors from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, said: “It’s a comedy theatre, effectively a modern cabaret bar with comedy at its core but we will also be doing music and poetry. It will be a multi-functional venue.”
John, who already runs a successful comedy night at The Commercial, says there is talk of running Bollywood Sundays and burlesque evenings.
Although the venue is just out of the city centre he believes its location near residential areas and the railway station means it could attract people from near and far. Plans for a multi-storey car park opposite should also be beneficial.
John plans to run a five-day comedy festival in Chester in June.
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