December 12, 2007
Although this is normally a night club - it's also THE largest sports screen in the country (not counting Wembley Stadium obviously!). Following a complete refurbishment (although sticking to its chinoise theme), the Grand has relaunched as a 1,600 capacity venue that includes a 25 x 16 foot state-of-the-art screen for the sports fans that is used for both its sports nights and the ongoing club nights each weekend. An absolute must for that Cup Final or major event, you can even hire out the original opera house style private boxes complete with a pre-stocked little bar fridge so your champers or beers are chilled when you rock up, and hot & cold running waitress service so you needn't trouble yourself to scrum at the bar.
I did this for my birthday party once when I lived in the area, and it was a hoot! We had a Rock Star fancy dress theme so it was perfect when DJ Glitz and his Temptations came on (as the booted, hot-pant wearing Rockettes are called). The comments of the previous reviewers hold true, but if you're up for it and you're ratted enough you'll be having too much fun to notice, nor the crush on the narrow staircases that are the only access to the balcony level which still retains it's cinema style seating. Bars have replaced the sweet counters and popcorn machines on both levels, and the entire ground floor has been given over to dancing, with a proper 70's style light-up disco dancefloor. Cheesy as all hell, but it surely must be the finest camembert! It is what it is. Considering the sheer volume of people in there on a given night I think they do alright. Can't be easy!
Free before 10pm, they go until 3am weekends but if you're thinking if turning up after normal pubs' chucking-out time, best you be on the guest list. Packs of minicab drivers await you at close of play, but if you leave earlier there's a taxi stand down the road at the lights opposite the Station.
Their Tribute Bands Nights are also a laugh, I've been to Bjorn Again - an ABBA tribute band - and Killer Queen, and they also do some pretty decent comedy nights.