What happened, dearest Night Kitchen?
“… TNK holds a special place in all of our hearts and we wanted to keep the dream alive a little longer…”
Last year the Sheffield nightlife scene was dealt a huge blow as The Night Kitchen, a much-loved underground clubbing institution, announced its closure due to a pre-existing landlord agreement that it would one day make way for redevelopment purposes. It seemed like it was the end…
Following an emotional closing party in June with Off Me Nut Records, the speakers at TNK fell silent and plans were later announced for a new project, Outside Over There, at the Creative Arts Development’s (CADS) Eagle Works venue in Attercliffe. The venue opened following much hype with a ‘TNK Rebirth’ party featuring Phatworld, DR Cryptic and Thorpey. Things finally seemed to be back on track and ravers around the city breathed a sigh of relief. However, following the difficult task of moving, refurbishing the new warehouse space and organising a number of opening events, Sheffield City Council raised a number of concerns and the TNK/CADS had to work with both them and the local licensing committee to continue. In the meanwhile, a fresh run of events were announced back at the original site – leading to plenty of elation but also a touch of confusion as to what the future held for both venues.
We contacted Liam O’Reilly, Creative Director at TNK, to clear things up a bit. Here’s what he had to say on the matter…
“As many of you will be aware, The Night Kitchen was due to close in June of 2017 as our landlords needed the building back to begin their development of the space. Alongside CADS, we planned to move out of the building and on to pastures new following a long, pleasant and fruitful relationship with our landlords who had let the space to us on a “meanwhile use” basis, which meant that we received a subsidised rental cost to utilise the building prior to development. We always knew that we would have to move out to allow for the development, and whilst we knew it was coming it wasn’t any less sad; this building had been a huge part of our lives for the past five-plus years and it was a huge loss to leave behind. We fully believed we had to move out and had no idea we would be back – I even had the TNK logo tattooed in honour of it!
So, following on from our emotional exit from The Night Kitchen, we began our Outside Over There project at the new CADS Eagle Works site in Attercliffe. We spent the summer months significantly renovating the club space, transporting some of TNK’s best sculptures to re-arrange in memory of the old space and were all set to launch at the end of September, when, despite initial approvals, we ran into some concerns from the council in regards to safety and its impact on local neighbours. After attending licensing committee meetings and working productively alongside the council, we successfully won the hearing and had permission to continue with certain stipulations. It was, however, our decision after working so well alongside the council at TNK and now OOT that we take some time to fully address these concerns and hence couldn’t continue with the OOT space for the time being.
Now, the reason we were able to make this compromise in regards to the OOT space is because we were very kindly offered the continued usage of the TNK space by our old landlords, whose development timeframe had shifted due to other commitments. This was such a gracious offer and we couldn’t turn them down; TNK holds a special place in all of our hearts and we wanted to keep the dream alive a little longer. We are not sure how much longer we will be in the TNK space but plan on making the most of it while we can!”
The Exposed verdict on all of this? It seems like the best of both worlds: nightlife lovers can continue to party at the legendary TNK venue for a limited time, while the work continues at Outside Over There to ensure its legacy is honoured with the best clubbing experience possible. It’s a win-win in our books!
The Night Kitchen is open on Friday 17th February for Toddla T’s Steezey Wonderland, which is now sold out.