New bar The Common Rooms to open in former Scallywag club

Pam Mills

The former Scallywag club on Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, is to reopen as a trendy bar under new ownership.

Business partners Alex Macnutt and Chris Gane have bought the venue, which is set to open under new name The Common Rooms later this month. But unlike Scallywag, which moved out earlier this year, it will not offer live music.

Instead, the focus will be on creating a friendly atmosphere, offering premium beers and craft cocktails.

Mr Macnutt, 50, has a background in the music industry and has previously worked in promoting hotels and bars.

‘We are excited,’ he said. ‘It is a nice area and the footfall is really strong up here.

‘We do not want to do too much to it, as there is an amazing view across the Common, and we want it to be a relaxed social space.

‘The venue was just a bit too small to work for live music. This will be a different kind of venture.’

Both Mr Macnutt and Mr Gane, 39, are from Tunbridge Wells and are keen to offer a venue where customers might have a drink after work or before moving onto a club.

The pair bought the venue from Tunbridge Wells councillor David Scott. The opening date is yet to be confirmed, but is likely to be at the end of June.

Mr Macnutt said he is looking forward to using his music industry background, in which he worked for labels including Ministry of Sound, to create playlists.

Customers may get the chance to put on their own vinyl in their proposed Seven Inch Sunday events.

‘We are licenced until 11pm, but it could be extended. It is the kind of place you might meet before you go somewhere else,’ continued Mr Macnutt, who has also performed DJ sets at other Tunbridge Wells venues, including The Forum.

‘We are not going for the clubby type of audience. It is a bit more of a head-nod atmosphere than jumping up and down! It is a more chilled out feel.’

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