The Kitchen Nightclub closed 16 years ago today…

Arguably the finest purpose-built club venue this country has ever seen, the U2-owned The Kitchen Nightclub closed its doors on May 4th, 2002.

With Podje and Dave McDonnell on the decks, that final night was an emotional one for all involved, particularly the two dozen or so (including myself!) that were made redundant.

I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven Bono for that one.

“We have been monitoring the situation for quite some time. There are so many new places that have opened and the environment has also changed,” Clarence Hotel manager Robert van Eerde told the Irish Independent at the time. “We are looking ahead and the Kitchen needs a change. Things are changing and we want to be at the cutting edge of that.”

Cutting edge? Ha! It would take nine years for the venue to reopen, again as The Kitchen, and as a shadow of its former self.

In its current guise, as The Liquor Rooms, it’s a very stylish place to spend an evening (or indeed a Sunday afternoon at the Vinyl And Wine listening sessions).

But every time I’m there, I look at the people around me, and I have to restrain myself from yelling… “Do you lot have ANY IDEA of the MADNESS that used to take place here!!!”

Here’s to everyone that lost their handbags in the moat, lost their ticket to the cloakroom and lost their minds on the dancefloor. The Kitchen is dead, LONG LIVE THE KITCHEN!

Here’s a mix that includes some old Kitchen classics, by long-time resident Podje.

[Venue photos by John Searle for John Feely Architects, crowd photo from The Kitchen Facebook page]

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