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New plans laid for the Bay’s Talk nightclub

Bar, bistro and arts youth club

ARTHOUSE: Mark Kerr outside the former nightclub
ARTHOUSE: Mark Kerr outside the former nightclub

A FORMER seafront nightclub could reopen as a project to help young people. Social policy researcher Mark Kerr, from Herne, and artist manager Andy Robinson have plans to transform the former Talk nightclub into an arts-based youth project. Mr Kerr ran a host of restaurants and venues in Europe before specialising in services for children and young people.They have been in talks with arcade boss Michael Khoury, who owns the building, and EMS Group, which holds the lease and ran the first floor as a club until February 2012.


Mr Kerr said:

“When I went to look at the venue I was gobsmacked. It Is still In pristine condition, and hasn’t been touched since the club closed. I think it was the wrong time for a nightclub to open and we have put together a proposition that could work. I was looking for a youth project and I think this ticks all the boxes.”

The venture would be sponsored by EMS in Sea Street and would be called The Artshouse. It would include a bar and restaurant at the front, overlooking the sea, and a space for educational projects. Mr Kerr said:

“I have spoken to some education providers already who have confirmed they would want to use the space as part of their curriculums.  We would run workshops that are arts related and we would like a digital music studio as well. We will be talking to young people to find out what they want. The idea is to give them a venue.”

The pair have links to a host of artists from the music industry and several have already said they are keen to be involved. In the summer the cafe bar will trade all day and will offer apprenticeships. The space could also be rented to community groups or for exercise classes and the business would be run as a community interest company, where 65 per cent of the profits are reinvested. The pair also have plans for larger public events such as comedy nights and concerts. Mr Kerr said:

“Vivid has its place and we do not want to be another club – we will be changing It so it doesn’t look like a bar. We are looking at a different market to the Kings Hall and it won’t be a pub. It will be something unique. We want to serve local ale and cider, a glass of decent wine and definitely no £1.50 jagerbombs. Everyone we have spoken to so far has been very supportive, from Canterbury City Council to musicians and schools.”

The venue still has its original licence so could reopen any time as a nightclub, and stay open until 2.30am, but the pair are planning to de-register it and take it out of the nightclub class. They aim to open next month.

Herne Bay Times, April 3rd 2014

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