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Mooch and The Venue

We have lost the Ark forever! Is that a cheer of celebration or a moan of desolation?

Regardless of whether you loved the stale beer smells and sticky tables, or hated it, the debate is now officially over. In its place, the long awaited Mooch and The Venue have been built. Over £800,000 has been invested by the Student’s Union and the University to bring us these two new venues.

Mooch is situated in what used to be A23 (that’s right, the room we only ever used when we had an exam there – but perhaps don’t let the connotations of exams sway your judgment). The Union describes this café/bar as “a comfortable, relaxed and welcoming environment where you can enjoy good food in stylish surroundings.” There is also an outdoor terrace for anyone wishing to go outside, but this is strictly non-smoking (cue Lenton groans…). The Venue will take the place of the old Ark featuring a variety of different entertainment in the evenings. It will be shut throughout the day but opened up if students want to use it.

With a number of ‘headline’ acts still to be confirmed, there is a full line up of entertainment planned for the autumn term. The live music includes a selection of signed and unsigned bands twice a month and entry fees will range from £3 to £5 depending on the act. There will also be a comedy evening once a month. The Union has planned a couple of club nights for The Venue. Friday Anthems starts the year with a 90min set from the ‘Cut Up Boys’ in the first week. The club night Flirt! remains a Saturday night fixture and will include giveaways and celebrities… although I think we can safely assume this to mean a member from the cast of Hollyoaks if we’re lucky.

Becky King, Finance and Services Officer, said:
“The Students’ Union Exec and members of staff are all really excited about Mooch and the Venue. Everyone has worked so hard throughout the many stages of the project and we are hoping it will be very successful! Finally our students have a Union bar to be proud of!”

Kevin Childs, bar manager of Mooch and The Venue, said:
“There is definitely a good buzz going around about the bar developments and having seen it grow from the initial ideas through the planning and then the building; I can understand the anticipation and excitement. We have taken into account a number of requests from students including the introduction of more real ales, a wider range of drinks, raising the standards and a menu with a variety of choice. A great deal of time, effort and pride has been put in by everyone and I’m sure the students will appreciate the drastic change from the days of The Ark – one they will be proud of.”

The success of Mooch and The Venue has yet to be proven, but Fresher’s week is set to be the first test. There will no doubt be a difference of opinion between freshers, who will have never had the ‘Ark’ experience and returners, who all too well remember trying to remove the Snakebite stain out of their favourite T-shirt with little success. The Union’s exec of both last year and this year have worked extremely hard to produce this in time for the new academic year and they are on track to meet this target which is certainly an achievement considering the short time in which they had to complete the project.

Pippa Vaux

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