Former Franks nightclub back on the rental market

There is planning permission for a restaurant at the site

The former Franks nightclub building in Cliftonville is back on the rental market.

The lease is being offered at £4,166 per calendar month with the option to rent the ground or first floor separately.

In August Thanet council granted permission to convert the site to a restaurant, offices and a three-bed self-contained flat.

How it looked inside after the club closed Photo Frank Leppard

The one-time clubbing nightspot in Ethelbert Crescent, was previously run by the Thorley empire before closing in 2009 and being sold. It was once a popular spot with two for one offers, ladies nights and under 18s events.

It is part of the Cliftonville Leisure Complex, which also contains Bugsys Bowling, Cains Amusements, Olympia Cafe, and 12 existing 2-bedroom flats known as Cliftonville Court. The rest of the site is active, with the existing commercial units well-used, and the flats inhabited.

How it looked inside after the closure Photo Frank Leppard

The planning permission is for a ground floor restaurant, first floor offices and a flat on the first floor.

Photo Frank Leppard

The approved application also included amendments bring the building back to the original 1960s design, with some alterations, featuring the corner balcony and pop-out bay.

The site is being offered through agents My4Walls and can be seen here

A rich history

The 1960s building was built on the site of the grand Cliftonville Hotel. The main hotel building was six storeys, including a basement storey and an attic storey. The area behind the hotel, sandwiched between Dalby Square and Edgar Road, was used as gardens. At the front, facing the sea, a grand covered terrace spilled out onto the street.

The hotel had enjoyed great success from its opening in 1868 up until the 1920s.

In 1929, it was no longer as popular and the council considered buying it for municipal offices. The hotel’s popularity diminished further during the Depression and the building was requisitioned during the Second World War.

At the end of the war the hotel reopened but to little success. It was sold to a new owner and turned into flats, though it was still not profitable.

All change after fire

After a fire in 1952, the building was demolished and the site used as a car park until 1961.

In November 1961 plans were announced plans for an eight-storey building on the site, including a new hotel, 40 flats, a cafe, filling station, car park and bowling alley. What was actually built and opened in 1964 was more modest than the early plans, with 12 flats. The bowling alley, Franks pub/nightclub, car park and filling station were also built.

The filling station became a cafe and amusement arcade in the 1980s and the nightclub closed in 2008/09 and now stands empty. The bowling alley is still running though has changed hands several times, and reduced in size from 24 lanes to 12 lanes.

Photo Frank Leppard

Read here: Remembering Margate’s Club Caprice – another venue gone forever

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