The legend lives on in Eastbourne after £750,000 is invested in updating the pier’s nightclub
For the past 15 years, Atlantis has been a legendary club, standing on the pier in the East Sussex seaside town of Eastbourne. Over that time, nightlife has evolved so its owner, Six Piers, has invested £750,000 in a complete refurbishment alongside the introduction of a VIP area and cocktails. “We gutted it back to the four walls and started again from the outside in,” says general manager Christos Stylianou.
Having run the club for eight years, Christos led on the redesign, working with contractor Eclipse Developments, a specialist in the bar and club sector. The venue’s former jungle theme has been replaced by a cleaner, sharper interior with a palette of black, grey and silver. Where it was once one big room, they have added a raised VIP area separated by a glass partition offering views down onto the dancefloor. With its own private bar and table service, this has allowed Six Piers to introduce cocktails for the first time, which are available only in the VIP area.
Bar staff were trained by Andy Hickling and Tristan Steele of the nearby Hudson’s Wine Bar, with an initial list featuring five of Britain’s most popular cocktails: Long Island Iced Tea, Cosmopolitan, Sex on the Beach, Purple Rain and Mojito. “The cocktails have been a great success and made people want to be in the VIP area,” Christos says.
As well as offering champagnes such as Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, the club has added spirits by the bottle, again only in the VIP area. Brands such as Belvedere vodka, Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky and Courvoisier VSOP are available, pre-bookable in advance via the club’s website. “The VIP area has worked really well and is now booked for six weeks in advance,” Christos adds.
The next phase will see unused office space transformed into a second, much bigger VIP area, The White Room, above the DJ booth. As the name suggests, it will be all in white, with its own bar, cloakroom and toilets. It is expected to be ready by September. With three bars in the main room and a new shooter bar, there are five bars throughout the 870-capacity venue. More seating has been added throughout, with black leather upholstery and soft LED lighting above. The club has also been fitted with a striking new LED lighting installation, using several hundred pixel tubes that make the lights look like they are raining down onto the dance floor.
All the lighting is the work of audio and lighting specialist MilTec UK which also supplied the sound system, replacing Funktion-One. Christos explains: “The Funktion-One system was amazing but it wasn’t quite right for the venue. We wanted something more directional which MilTec provided.” It supports the club’s programme of DJs and PAs, including Lemon whose track Pussy Drop features on the soundtrack of the film Kick-Ass 2, released this month.
Alongside the refurbishment of the club, Six Piers has smartened up the neighbouring feeder bar, The Waterfront, which has a private entrance into Atlantis. While not as major a transformation as the club, it has new LED lighting, new flooring, a new bar top and improved toilets. It all helps to tempt clubbers away from the bright lights of Brighton only 20 miles away. “Eastbourne has a reputation for attracting older people but that’s during the daytime,” Christos points out. “Once all the coaches have gone home, the under-30s come out of the woodwork. It used to be the case that everyone went over to Brighton but now there are three very good nightclubs in Eastbourne, which have all had refurbishments in the past two years. There’s great nightlife here and, talking to our customers, we are now attracting people down from London.”
Atlantis, Eastbourne Pier, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3EL
Tel: 01323 410466
Who did it
Contractor, furniture: Eclipse Developments
Sound and lighting: MilTec UK
AV installation: Accord Audio
Plumbing: Smart Plumbing
Electrics: Luminar Electrical
Decorators: Burton & Brown
Originally published in the August 2013 edition of Bar magazine.