The Nightlife of (fictional) Dunwich

Dunwich supports quite a varied night life, because of the student population (ok, only 1,570 but still more than most Suffolk towns), the large hinterland of villages, and the summer tourist population. While pubs predominate there are a few nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Nightclubs of Dunwich

While Dunwich is not a major resort town, there are several small clubs.

Dancing In The Dark is a converted cinema on the High Street. The downstairs is today Anglian Windows, and the side door always flanked by bouncers leads to a steep staircase which winds up to the large bar space and dancefloor. The club is decorated in smoked black glass and polished metal, with russet furnishings. Comfortable, fairly spacious and with a sprung wood dancefloor the carpets are inevitably sticky from the traditional student drink of Snakebite and Black.
It's open several nights, with Friday and Saturday traditionally townie nights, and students dominating mondays and wednesdays. The schedule is

  • Friday - Mainstream Chart music - Enya, Yazz, Erasure, Deacon Blue, Jason Donovan, Pet Shop Boys, Tanita Tikaram, Bananarama, Phil Collins, U2, Whitney Houston, Kylie Minogue, Luther Vandross, Bon Jovi. (5 before 11pm)
  • Saturday- Mainstream Chart music -(5 before 11pm)
  • Monday - Goth/Alternative/Indie - Cult, Sisters, Mission, Bauhaus, The Smiths, The Cure, etc. (3 before 11pm)
  • Wednesday - Student Night, NUS only, Sports teams predominate. Chart music. (1 before 11pm, NUS only.) This is the main nightclub for locals, who were born in Suffolk. Students are tolerated by most customers, but it is rough if you are an outsider, and not considered safe at weekends. In the summer the locals are lost in the crowd of tourists, and the club is far more busy and probbaly even more violent. Casual sex in the disgusting toilets is much more common then than off season! Dress code on weekends, but casual.

    The Waterfront This is a yuppie wine bar and club in the prestigious new Quayside development. Popular mainly with townsfolk who are not from Suffolk originally, but have moved here in search of work or a better quality of life, it caters to middle class punters. It is prohibitively expensive for students (admisison starts at 10, and remeber this is 1988!). The downstairs bar is open monday to staurday, but the upstairs club is only open off season on Fridays and Saturdays. It is however the largest club in Dunwich, with a huge open dance floor, two bars, and a small restaurant area through arches on one wall. The music is exclusively chart dance with a definite New Romantic feel (it opened in 1983). A lot of the poseurs here talk and mingle far more than they dance though, though the dancefloor is crowded by midnight. The decor is black glass with pale lime furnishings, and lots of chrome fixtures, not disimilar to Dancing in the Dark but much cleaner. The walls are pastel green, and the lighting far more soft, with the many large pot plants and lit up fountain giving it a more upmarket feel. Very strict dress code, and no compromise staff. The police will respond fast to incidents here.

    Gotham City - a small but intimate club situated in what used to be the Hamilton Hotel, near the train station. Plays exclusively Goth. Metal and Alternative, with some really obscure stuff. Nice Victorian decor, but the plaster is falling off the walls, the floorboards are dodgy and the whole building is close to being condemned. The upstairs is a mass of empty hotel rooms in a state of dereliction, and the staff quite illegally live there, with a number of friends. The brewery haslong since lost interest and is waiting for it to fall in to disrepair enough to be developed, as it is a listed building. Two main areas - the bar, and the old ballroom, which has a jury rigged set of decks precariously set up on tables at one end, so that records and CDs frequently skip if the dance floor is busy. Admission is 2, but the bouncers are indifferent and enforcement comes down to the staff. Cheap, and to be fair, naff. Goth students and townies cheerfully mingle here. Only open on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Saturday always opens with a terrible local band set. No dress code, so goth mingles with blue denim and casual students.

    Warehouse Dunwich- Acid House is just becoming more mainstream, and Warehouse 5 on the waterfront in the St.Oswalds area is the place to go for this kind of music. Smiley faces, bandanas, dayglo clothes and serious partying, despite the fact the place does not even serve alcohol. There is however a soft drinks table, and the regulars seem to cope. The bouncers are not from the local foirm, and are rumoured to be heavyhanded with trouble makers. Toilet facilities are primitive - but the music is the thing. Often long past 2am, the constant noise complaints from local residents will probably force closure soon. It really is just a warehouse with decks and speakers and a huge lighting rig. Admission 5, but the bouncers require you to look the part or at least be streetwise.

    Cowboy Joes Really just a bar with a late license, open Thurdsay, Friday, Saturday. Wild West decor, minute dance floor, and both types of music, Country and Western, washed down with generous helpings of rock n roll nostalgia on Saturday nights, and Elvis every night. The bouncers are from the family who own it, and brook absolutely no nonsense, and the average age is thirties and up. Students will probbaly not get through the door, unless with their parents.

    Discotheque 1999 - on the Pier, this is really what it sounds like. Glitterballs,loads of 'futuristic' metallic foil, staff in "space age" foil uniforms. Closedi n off season (from mid-September to April) so fairly irrelevant to the game, but horror storiers are told of it. Caters exclusively to tourists of all ages, and often has minor TV celebrity guest dj's. It look like a metal portacabin, and the sp[ace theme is done to death in a really tasteless fashion. If only it were summer you could enjoy the nightly wet tee shirt contests. Just thank your lucky stars karaoke is still to come to England!