Nightlife ‘strip’ plan for town centre revellers

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Plans are being drawn up for a new town centre drinking venue in a bid to create a nightlife strip under club owner Darren Miles.

The man behind the Function Rooms and Ollys Bar, now has his sights set on The Exchange bar in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead.

Spokesman Paul Drohsin from Bespoke Leisure – the company behind the new venue – says it will give people more choice for a night out in the town.

He even goes so far to say that the council welcomes the decision to open the venue which will help to revitalise the town. To date no planning application for the premises has been considered by Dacorum Borough Council.

Nearby Ollys Bar – described as a ‘breath of fresh air’ for the town by its proprietors – opened in June last year, after Mr Miles closed his buffet-style cuisine from around the world restaurant Gulliver’s. Previously it was a Little Frankies restaurant – part of the eatery chain Frankie and Benny’s.

The new strip will give people a choice of bars to ‘hop from’ according to Mr Drohsin, with a choice of Ollys Bar, the Full House, Function Rooms and the new Exchange venue.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning is backing the plan and hopes the new venue will shake off the bad reputation of the previous bar.

He said: “The pub is a pub that is closed, it has not been the nicest of pubs to say the least so I’m very keen, because it is obviously going to reopen as a pub, to have a quality establishment. I think Darren does run quality establishments.”

A competition is currently running to give people the chance to name the new venue and £500 is up for grabs to the winner. Visit