Liverpool nightclub owner emerges from lockdown nightmare

Nightclub entrepreneur Amy Gwynn opened her third Liverpool venue just days before the first lockdown in March 2020, an event which came as a shock to her and her team. Tony McDonough reports

Amy Gwynn
Liverpool nightclub entrepreneur Amy Gwynn


Just four days before the first COVID lockdown in 2020 Liverpool nightclub entrepreneur Amy Gwynn had opened a new venue – Avenue in Victoria Street.

It added to her existing outlets, Jaloux and gentleman’s club Rude. And when the lockdown was announced and all three venues had to close, Amy said it came as a “complete shock” to her and her team.

“It was awful. It’s something no one had ever experienced,” she said. “We’d just launched Avenue the Saturday before lockdown and had spent months designing and transforming the venue.

“To open our doors for the first time was amazing, but to be told just four days later that they’d be closing permanently for a while was devastating. At the time, we couldn’t have foreseen it would be for 16 months in total.”

Similar to many entrepreneurs across the hospitality sector, Amy has faced the most challenging 18 months of her business career. It wasn’t until earlier this year that the UK finally emerged from its third lockdown.

All three of her venues reopened in July and are now thriving again. Avenue was formerly Midnight Lounge, and Amy had ripped out the entire club to design and create the new brand – complete with a swing, neon signage, a butterfly bar installation and the famous ball pit.

Avenue, a nightclub in Victoria Street, Liverpool


She added: “Avenue hadn’t even had a chance to become established before we closed and so reopening felt like a challenge but one that I was so ready to take on. After years in the industry, I wasn’t going to let the pandemic destroy what I’d work so hard for.”

She added: “Jaloux is an amazing place and very Instagrammable. The ceiling is covered from front to back in flowers and we have brilliant entertainment on each week including a DJ, sax and bongos so our guests know that they’ll have a great night out there.

“As Rude is a gentleman’s club and largely consisted of private shows before the pandemic, we pivoted to rethink the offering and introduced American-style socially distanced shows which have proven really popular for stags and hens.

“It’s something we’ve kept since restrictions have lifted as it’s added another element to the business. In Jaloux and Avenue we opened as table service only so that we could try to get back to business.

“But even then we were working at just 30% capacity which is unsustainable when you have a large premises in the middle of the city centre, staff and bills to pay for.”

For Amy, managing her three thriving businesses alongside raising her four daughters is a huge task but one that she welcomes with open arms. And as the winter months approach, Halloween, festive parties and Christmas nights out are also on the horizon.

“I loved the family time that lockdown created but I missed working terribly,” she said. “We have personal appearances, events and guest DJs coming up at Avenue and we’re already selling out through December.

“It’s amazing to see so many people embracing Liverpool’s bustling nightlife scene and supporting local businesses. After such a different period, we’re so happy to be back open for business and so busy.”

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