Hammersmith Palais, one of London’s most famous music venues, is to be redesigned and refurbished by an in-house team, following its £500 000 acquisition by bars and nightclub operator Po Na Na.
The club, which has a capacity of 2300, was previously co-owned by Po Na Na and Leopard Clubs. It has now been taken over completely by the former, as part of a multi-million pound expansion programme.
It will be refurbished during the summer and is due to reopen at the beginning of September, with the Po Na Na name prefixing the Hammersmith Palais title. There will not be a new logo.
A major new element of the venue will be a Bali-themed bar, providing a quieter alternative to the dancefloor area, says Po Na Na creative director Rob Sawyer, who will oversee the revamp. He believes large groups of friends are often looking for different things within the Palais.
“It is a huge venue and you get groups of six people going in, some of whom want to dance, and some of whom want to relax in a bar. At the moment there is only a VIP offering as an alternative to the dancing area, but we are turning the first floor into a lounge area away from the loudness and intensity of the dancefloor,” explains Sawyer.
“It will be self-contained, accommodating up to 350 people and overlooking the dancefloor. We have a few possible names for it, but nothing definite yet.”
As well as the takeover of the Hammersmith Palais, Po Na Na is also acquiring a further seven nightclubs, taking its portfolio to more than 50 venues throughout the country.