Running a successful nightclub may seem all glitz, glamour and partying with the stars until the early morning light, but these ventures require much more than a propensity to have a good time. Those nightclub owners who have achieved renown have used their talents and skills to build thriving venues that always have kept clubbers coming back for more.
As a young man, Peter Stringfellow visited New York and became a fixture at the city's nightclubs. He was inspired to bring the best of US nightclub innovations to the United Kingdom, and worked as a salesman in order to raise the funds to run dance nights in a church hall before finally opening the Black Cat Club in Sheffield, followed by the King Mojo Club. He brought such famous faces as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Small Faces to his clubs. By the late 1980s he had clubs across the UK and in cities across the USA. While his expansion led to bankruptcy, he rebuilt his business after visiting a lap dancing club in the USA. Stringfellow's hard work and willingness to bring tried and tested ideas to new markets brought him his success.
Studio 54 Partnership
Steven Rubell, Ian Schrager, Tim Savage, and Jack Dushey founded the famous New York club Studio 54. The club was noted for its strict door policy that admitted only the beautiful and the famous. The club was a hedonistic environment, whose exclusivity and wild tales only fuelled demand.
Co-owner of XS, Les Deux and Tryst nightclubs, Victor Drai used his experience as a movie producer to design nightclubs that would appeal to the rich and famous. Drai often works from 10am until the early hours of the morning when his clubs close. He puts his success down to his attention to detail and his efforts to ensure that celebrities and non-celebrities alike have a comfortable, social experience.
Owner and founder of the Pacha Group, Ricardo Urgell is considered the father of the modern Ibiza scene, whose imitators have since spread across the globe. As an architecture student, Ricardo used his sense of space and architectural design to pioneer a multi-roomed club that could entertain massive crowds with ever-changing tastes. Ricardo Urgell owes his success to his specialised knowledge, willingness to take risks with innovation and attraction of high-profile DJs.
In 1962 Mark Birley founded Annabel's in London's exclusive Mayfair. Annabel's success came from its pioneering, first-of-its kind business model. The late-night nightclub catered to the high profile kind of clientèle with whom Birley socialised - A-list celebrities such as Prince Charles, Frank Sinatra and Aristotle Onassis. As a members only club, Annabel's was just what the doctor had ordered - an exclusive location where the famous could relax without worrying about being approached by fans. Birley used his contacts and knowledge of his customer base to build a network of members only clubs which he sold in 2007 for £90 million.
Rachel is a business blogger currently on the lookout for nightclubs for sale.