Having opened amidst fanfare and glamour on Valentine’s Day 1994, the U2-owned The Kitchen nightclub played host to a myriad of legendary nights over its eight-year tenure – from raw techno (JDP, Genius), to deep house (Blue), to scything drum ‘n’ bass (Quadraphonic) and many more.
With a capacity of just under 600, the subterranean venue, which infamously featured a ‘moat’ around the dancefloor (bye bye handbags, cigarettes, early mobile phones), featured one of the city’s best soundsystems, and welcomed some of dance’s biggest names to its ‘teacup’-shaped DJ booth – hey, it was supposed to be a ‘kitchen’ after all.
The Kitchen was also the scene of an infamous night in which supermodel Naomi Campbell got a DJ – Aidan Kelly – fired on the spot, for not playing her favourite Prodigy track.
“It was the night of a U2 concert, which I had been at, so by the time I got to the Kitchen I was bloody hammered,” longtime resident Podje told 909originals a few years back. “I saw this thing going down between Naomi Campbell and Aidan Kelly – I didn’t know it was Naomi Campbell, to be honest – and then I saw Aidan being dragged out of the place. Ricky [Mooney, manager] came over to me and explained the situation, and said that Naomi wanted a song played, so I said ‘no problem’ and headed for the DJ box.
“I put on the Prodigy CD, but with me being so hammered, I didn’t realise it was skipping – the same note over and over and over. I only realised what was happening when I looked across the floor and saw Ricky banging his head off the wall in disgust.”
In its later years, it fell somewhat into disrepair – more of a hindrance than a help to the Clarence Hotel upstairs – and the venue held its final night on 4 May 2002, with Podje and fellow resident Dave McDonnell on the decks. The main photo of this article is taken from that final night. The venue has since reopened as Cellar Nightclub.
909originals has written extensively about The Kitchen in the past, click here to read ‘If you can’t stand the heat… The story of U2’s legendary The Kitchen nightclub’.
To toast the 20th anniversary of its closure, however, here are a handful of sets recorded at the legendary nightspot over the years, taken from the Rave Tapes Ireland archive.
Kemistry & Storm @ The Kitchen Nightclub, September 1996
Oliver Way @ The Kitchen Nightclub, June 1997
Frankie Bones @ The Kitchen Nightclub, October 1997
Surgeon @ The Kitchen Nightclub, April 1998
Robert Armani @ The Kitchen Nightclub, 1998
…and here’s an ‘old school classics’ mix from Podje that features a smattering of Kitchen classics
Long live The Kitchen!