Eclectic acquires leading Brighton bar

Asahi Lounge at Madame GeishaEclectic Clubs & Bars has bought leading Brighton cocktail bar Madame Geisha but intends to continue running it in its present form.

The 300-capacity Japanese-inspired venue, which is open six nights a week until 3am, has established itself as a successful business from student nights early in the week to solid weekend trading.

It was opened over four years ago in the East Street boutique quarter by Damian Frizzell, Matthew Dimmack and Jennifer Anderson Mann in an Art Deco building that was once an ABC cinema. Covering three floors, the top storey is the Asahi Lounge (pictured).

“Madame Geisha is a highly successful venue and will continue to operate in its present form,” said Eclectic chief executive, Reuben Harley. “The bar is a perfect fit with our existing venues, most especially with our Japanese-themed bar brand, Sakura, in Manchester and Reading.”

The bar employs about 30 full- and part-time staff, all of whom will join Eclectic. It was acquired for an undisclosed sum.

Eclectic also owns Lola Lo, the Polynesian-themed nightclub, next to Madame Geisha. The Brighton Lola Lo was the first of the brand to open, in July 2010, and the concept has now been expanded to eight sites across the country.

“We are, as always, acquisitive, and the purchase of Madame Geisha reinforces our stated policy to expand, ideally at the rate of around three sites a year,” Reuben said.

“We are always on the lookout for existing businesses to add to our estate since, while we will continue to expand organically, we also see acquisition as a major route to growth.”

Damian and Jennifer opened House of Wolf in Islington, north London, at the end of last year with Matthew Fleming, formerly bar manager at London’s Shoreditch House and general manager at Proud Group. They also operate Brighton club and music venue The Haunt.

Eclectic Clubs & Bars owns and operates late-night bars and clubs across the UK under a number of brands including Sakura, Lola Lo, Fez and Po Na Na. Through a management contract with PBR Leisure, it operates 33 restaurants, bars and clubs include The Living Room chain.

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