ATIK Dartford has reopened as an overnight pub in line with Covid-19 guidelines
As Riton and the Nightcrawlers said, it’s Friday and I can’t wait to walk in through the doors of a nightclub.
Although Covid-19 restrictions have always been postponed to June 21 at the earliest, ATIK in Dartford has opened as a ‘night pub’ instead. I went for an evening to learn more about the concept.
ATIK Dartford has reopened as a night pub, indoor hospitality is now allowed
Essex Road nightclub, formerly known as Flicks, Zens and later Air and Breathe, began welcoming patrons back on Friday, May 21 with an ingenious way of working within the restrictions – reopening as “ night pub ”.
My four friends and I were greeted by masked bouncers who ensured that everyone was scanning the NHS track and trace code and made it very clear that masks should be worn at all times unless we were seated at our table.
Walking through those doors after 18 months was amazing – okay the dance floor wasn’t crowded, but the music was loud, upbeat and everything we had all missed!
We were shown to our table and the layout was more socially remote than most pubs I had been to since Monday May 17th; we all felt very safe and there was no Covid-19 security measure that was not covered.
Joshua Ould, a 20-year-old from Northfleet, said: “The staff at the gate were amazing. We all scanned our NHS track and trace codes and they checked our credentials.
“I feel safe and confident that if anyone exhibited symptoms of Covid-19 I know I would be contacted.
To attract the attention of the bar staff, we were given a flashing foam stick which we were encouraged to wave in the air. It was a great fun touch and ensured that everyone remained seated and away safely.
Table service was complete with cocktails, alcoholic drinks and bottomless pizzas were also available, personally I couldn’t ask for much else!
Who doesn’t want to have fun with friends, listen to the latest music and snack on pizza?
Elizabeth Young, 20 from Istead Rise, said: ‘It’s a very comfortable atmosphere, you almost forget that Covid-19 is unfolding in a certain way.
“Obviously the club is socially remote, but it’s a very friendly and comfortable environment.”
The bar staff and waiters made sure everyone’s needs were catered for and all questions were answered.
I had the feeling that since the premises of ATIK are larger and the staff are more available, the service was much more efficient than in a smaller pub.
Tilly Glendenning, a 20-year-old from Gravesend, said: “The great thing about pub at night is that you still have the club vibe without dancing and getting close to people you don’t know. “
Kat Jenner, also 20 from Gravesend, added: “I love that it’s so roomy and roomy, you don’t feel like you’re being run over by loads of people and it’s not too many people and you feel safe.
“It’s you in a bubble on your table, table service helps a lot too.”
Millie has been working at the nightclub since it reopened as ATIK.
She said: “It’s nice to be back and it’s good to provide table service, you can be more personal with customers and talk to people.”
Personally, I think reopening the nightclub as a nighttime pub is an amazing idea, and I think more young people should take the opportunity to hang out and have fun earlier than June 21st. “
One night pub visitor Clare Wilson said: “It’s great to get back to a normal life and see my friends again.
“It’s the closest we can get to a good night out.”
DJs Daniel Frost of So Solid Crew and Lewis Bones provided the music for the evening. It was almost strange to hear songs that became popular during the lockdown played at a club.
The club are hoping that after more than a year of frustrations and being left behind as pubs, bars and restaurants have been allowed to open, they can bounce back more and better than before the pandemic.
ATIK Managing Director Jordan Craine said: “We are really excited to initially reopen as a ‘night pub’ and provide our guests with a great night out without the 10pm bedtime.
“Whether you’ve come straight from a beer garden or spent hours preparing yourself, everyone is welcome.
“It was a difficult year and for the young people it was particularly difficult to see so many freedoms restricted.
“Nightclubs may have been the first to close and the last to open, but we can’t wait to open our doors and welcome everyone inside for a fun but safe night out.”
In anticipation of the opening, ATIK performed a deep cleaning and reviewed the training and procedures of its staff, from the queue to cleaning schedules, to ensure it reopens safely.
Jordan added, “The safety of customers is our priority, and we have the experience and expertise to handle large groups of people and the space to create an atmosphere without overcrowding.
“We also have the best ventilation system that is on par with any operating room. We have a lot more space than the pubs and we are as safe as possible. We have a lot of staff in training and it’s really good to get them back to work. “
From June 21, ATIK will once again be able to function as a nightclub and have some of the UK’s top DJs ready to entertain guests.
Olivia, 21, ATIK staff member, said: “It’s nice to be back, to feel a bit of normalcy after being locked in my house for almost a year.
“It’s crazy to think that I haven’t had to work for a whole year.”
Although ATIK revelers cannot go on the dance floor, they will be able to enjoy a “ seated disco ” and order a “ bottomless ” pizza, every Friday and Saturday between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. morning.
Jordan added: “The scenes at Circus, Liverpool, where 6,000 young people took part in a test event, were amazing and moving to watch.
“It is really important that we have the opportunity to reopen without any restrictions that are not in line with the rest of the hospitality.”
To book tickets, visit: https://www.atikclub.co.uk/club/dartford/
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