Nightclubs still exist in Sunderland, in fact there are several good ones. But they aren’t as widespread as they once were.
One reason for their dwindling number is the 2003 Licensing Act, which allowed pubs to open virtually round the clock. There was less reason to frequent a nightclub.
In the 1980s and 1990s Cheap nights in the city were Monday in Chambers, Tuesday Ku Club, Wednesday everywhere, Thursday Blue Monkey; which brought you to the weekend when you could go out and enjoy yourself.
Here is a brief history and some unabashed clubbing nostalgia from someone who was familiar with most of them.
1. Defunct Sunderland nightclubs
These you have loved - possibly. Photo: Sunderland Echo
2. Annabel’s, Walworth Way then High Street West - 80s-tastic
Annabel’s moved from Walworth Way, where Primark now stands to premises round the corner in High Street West in the late 1980s. It tended to attract a slightly more mature crowd, which led to the uncharitable sobriquet of ‘Nana-bel’s’. Yet it was a hugely popular and possibly the best remembered club on this list. An old school, glitterball venue. The staff member pictured here in December 1988 is probably the 1980s-est person in our entire picture catalogue. Photo: Sunderland Echo
3. Gass, Sunderland Street, Houghton
Not one that your reporter ever experienced personally, but apparently quite the place for Houghtonians a couple of decades or so ago. Now the upstairs bar and kitchen of the White Lion pub. Photo: Sunderland Echo
4. Ku Club, High Street West - indie heaven
In my opinion, yours being equally valid, Ku Club is the best former club on this list. The music was always a cut above and the clientele were known to read books. Intellectual or what? It provided a meeting of minds for people like me, who were clearly better than everyone else. But if we’re honest much of its allure stemmed from the fact that, even well into the 1990s, they were still selling shots for 20p (that’s t-w-e-n-t-y pence) a go. Even in those days that was practically giving it away. Plans were afoot to convert the building into flats in 2018, but no headway seems to have been made. Picture courtesy of John Evans. Photo: Sunderland Echo