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Ministry Launch Bar Chain

Ministry Launch Bar Chain

Clubbing giant Ministry Of Sound has announced plans to open a new chain of bars in towns and cities across the UK.

Ministry Of Sound has announced it will have a bar in every major UK town and city within a few years.

Minibar is the latest concept from the dance music giant, and is aimed at establishing the MOS' brand as a major bar operator, alongside its world-recognised club brand.

Ministry's operation director Tony Rigg told DJmag that the Minibar aims to combat the homogenous tacky chain pubs and bars that dominate much of Britain's high streets.

"It's very difficult to find a good bar in the UK," he says.

Ministry Of Sound: Minibar

It's very difficult to find a good bar in the UK

Tony Rigg, Ministry Of Sound

"They all serve the same drinks in the same environment, and there's no quality controls – it's quite dire actually.

"There's no obvious innovation, and we think Britain is crying out for something like Minibar."

Minibar No.1: Harrogate

Ministry's first bar will open in Harrogate,
Yorkshire, on 31 March 2006.

Billed as the 'Ultimate Bar Concept', the town's Minibar will feature four very different zones, designed to match the differing moods a person might have on a night out.

The first zone is a lounge area, suitable for early evening cocktails.

Zone Two has a cocktail and shot bar, a VIP booth, and a diary room, whilst a futuristic experience awaits those that enter the third zone.

With a hot tub, luxury private booths, and video rooms that enable punters to watch the venue through web cams, clearly Ministry's bar concept is not the ordinary.

Ministry Of Sound: Minibar
Of course, being Ministry, music plays a vital role in the venue, and zone four features a dancefloor, that will host some top guest DJs, as well as talented resident DJs.

Resident DJs

"DJs will play a vital role in the development of the chain," says Tony.

"We've been inundated with DJs begging to be residents of Minibar, but we're only looking to select the crème
de la crème of talent.

"We want people to come to Minibar for
the resident DJs, not for guest DJs,
although we'll have plenty of those too."

Ministry Of Sound: Minibar
Harrogate's Minibar has a capacity of 750 - huge for a bar - but Ministry has purposely designed the bar to make it seem cosy and intimate regardless of how busy it is.

"Minibar will be unlike any other high street bar you've been to," reckons Tony.

"It'll have fantastic service, a huge selection of drinks, quality music, and professional and friendly barstaff.

"We've purposely created the venue to
evolve with the night, and to match
the mood of the customers."

Copying Babycream?

Ministry Of Sound: Minibar
Comparisons are likely to be drawn between Ministry's new Minibar concept, and former superclub Cream's Babycream restaurant and bar chain (it has venues in Leeds and Liverpool).

Although Rigg is a fan of Babycream, he's quick to highlight that Ministry won't be doing food at any of its Minibars.

"We'll stick to what we're good at," he says.

"Ministry can give you a great night out, good music, and good drinks, but running a restaurant is a totally different kettle of fish."

Surprisingly, Tony Rigg said he had noticed a drop in numbers going clubbing since the new 24-hour drinking laws came into force in England and Wales in November.

He said that he expected the trend to continue, and that less people would go out clubbing because they now have the option to spend all night in a bar or pub drinking.

Ministry Of Sound: Minibar

Of course the 24-hour license will affect numbers of clubbers

Tony Rigg

"Of course the 24-hour license will affect numbers of clubbers, but Minibar will suit the new licensing laws," says Tony.

"It's a late night bar with DJs and a dancefloor, but it'll feel like an intimate cocktail lounge, not a club."

"People can drink, dance, or simply chat with friends, all under one roof."

Ministry are clearly excited about their new bar chain.

A statement announcing the launch of the concept bragged 'Minibar will revolutionise the high street'.