The Deltic Group has launched a new club in Dartford under its Atik brand. Zoe Fryday reports
Those in search of the ultimate clubbing experience can head down to Atik Darford. Located on Essex Road, the venue – formerly known as Air and Breathe – was selected by leading operator The Deltic Group to undergo an extensive makeover. Following a whopping £750,000 investment, the twin-scene space has been converted into a vibrant, modern party hotspot, characterised by three distinct rooms, which are enhanced by a pulsating atmosphere and dazzling drinks offering.
With the help of hospitality specialists Design at Source, who have worked on the branding across all the Atik sites, the club setting has been entirely transformed. The key aspiration was to create the perfect space for socialising. This has been achieved by fitting out the venue with state-of-the-art light and sound technology. For retro fans, the Vinyl zone, with its vast illuminated dancefloor and dozens of disco glitter balls, plays guilty pleasures and pop classics. Curve, on the other hand, presents a luxurious new room with an intimate vibe, featuring DJs playing the latest RnB chart hits. “Atik offers world class entertainment, amazing sound quality and an unbeatable atmosphere,” says general manager Jordan Craine. “Visually, the venue is stunning. Utilising the natural properties of the building, the main room has a stripped- back, industrial feel, with the colour and visual feast of Vinyl hitting your eyes the moment you walk in. Curve is glamorously decadent, with the gold-embellished room giving customers the luxury they crave.”
Central to the design scheme was uniting these three clearly defined music and atmosphere propositions within one space. “It was really lovely to work on the creation of Atik Dartford as it was an opportunity to generate the most ‘complete’ Atik venue of the 13 developed to date, stripping the old 1921 theatre building pretty much back to a bare shell and starting again,” explains Stuart Trett of Design at Source. “The existing main space was completely reworked to form the Atik room itself. The under-utilised modern balcony and ancillary rooms were separated off to create the new Curve zone, and the original old theatre balcony was converted into Vinyl; lowering the floor at the same time to eek out extra height and offer new customer toilets within the disused spaces.” Stuart and the team had to ensure that the main room provided a large open space to cope with times of peak demand while at the same time delivering a high density of private booths and other more intimate areas.
The drinks menu presents a broad spectrum of premium spirits alongside an evolved cocktail list which, according to Jordan, inspires and excites ‘Generation Wow’ with a more colourful and bold taste profile. Classic, vibrant crowd pleasers such as Sex on the Beach and Long Island Iced Tea sit beside new creations including Shades of Disco, a mix of Absolut Cherry, Licor 43, cranberry juice, strawberry purée and Ting, and the Velvet Elvis, made with Jack Daniels, Crème de Framboise and lemonade. All Atik cocktails are available as sharing pitchers, designed to appeal to groups and parties who can also indulge in pre-bookable, VIP booths with table service from a team of hosts throughout the night.
To cater to changing tastes, the Atik team recognise the importance of offering choice for guests. “With the knowledge that our customer base is more health- conscious than ever before, as well as our duty as a responsible drinks retailer, we also provide an extended range of alcohol- free and low-alcohol drinks,” adds Jordan. Examples of non-alcoholic cocktails include the Tutti Fruitti, a fusion of orange juice, pineapple juice, lime cordial and grenadine, and Smooth Criminal, which incorporates mango juice, orange juice, pineapple juice and a squeeze of fresh lime.
From the arena-like character of the main room to the statement light-up dance floor of Vinyl, each area is designed for customers to have the opportunity to dance and enjoy themselves. The centrepiece DJ box and stage put the emphasis on music and the booths are right in the thick of the action, giving guests a fully immersive experience. As well as holding regular club nights on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Atrik regularly wows customers with celebrity PAs and top-name performers. For New Year’s Eve, legendary DJ and producer Jaguar Skills made an appearance. Jordan adds: “Atik Dartford has got off to a flying start and we’re very excited to build on this and commit to giving the customers of Dartford and beyond exceptional nights out with great quality entertainment.”
Atik, 35-37 Essex Rd, Dartford, DA1 2AU
Behind the scenes
Interior design: Design at Source
Photography by Richard Southall.
Originally published in the February 2019 print edition of Bar magazine.