Nightclubs with sticky floors, cheap drinks and power-hungry bouncers have long been a staple of the perfect night out. The worst places to go often spur you into having the best night out, or you get so drunk on £1.50 Sex on the Beach cocktails, that you forget how rubbish the club is. Also everyone thinks their hometown club is the absolute worst. Here are some of the best of the worst.
Worst Clubs in the UK
Fifth (previously Fifth Avenue) – Manchester
A club that is famed for its ‘Made in the 90s Tuesdays’, and the ultimate in cheesy music, this place speaks to my soul as a person who grew up in the 90s. Unfortunately, I don’t think it appeals as much to those who are now going out as all reviews are related to the rubbish, cheesy music (hello! The 90s made cheesy music and it is the best) and the ridiculously cheap drinks. One student states that you can’t get out due to the ‘hidden doors, and you have to pay a pound to get out if you want to chat with your smoking friends.’ Now this particularly glowingreview is from around 2018 so hopefully it’s changed and the bouncers have calmed down.
Blue Angel – Liverpool
I did a bit of market research for this, and there were a fair few Liverpool clubs that popped up. This one was consistent with quite a few people telling me about this club. Sticky floors, jazz players and even Judy Garland feature in its history. It seems to be a firm favourite for students and hen parties thank to the cheap drinks and music.
Historically a jazz club, it is more likely to play cheesy 90s pop and the drinks have evolved from classy cocktails and pints to ‘Fat Frogs’ – a seemingly lethal concoction of three VK’s mixed together. They probably contributed to the sticky floor.
Fights, soil in glasses (how?) and forgetting how to get the place are just some of the memories that people have of this charming place.
Corporation – Sheffield
Known as Corp to the locals, this club is an alternative music venue that hosts live bands regularly. Located on Milton Street, it is a firm favourite for those who enter, despite it being classed as ‘the most tragic nightclub in Sheffield’.It’s dirty, really that’s what literally every bad review I’ve found says it’s filthy, which I’m sure adds to it’s charm when you’re off your face on cheap vodka and WKDs.
Avoiding the ‘Corp TV Guy’ seems to be a fun game in Corp, until you get caught anyway and your mates then post it across all your social media.
Themed nights (The Skool Disco, anyone?), cheap drinks and another sticky floor. Worst club in Sheffield, top night out.
Popworld – nationwide
These venues popped up repeatedly during my research. Nearly everyone I spoke to has been to one and probably regrets that life choice. They are bright, full of neon lights which, when you’re already pretty drunk, just make you worse. They have a large array of shots which seem to be the staple drink for most of the customers in there.
Sing-along classics screamed at the top of your lungs, bouncers you don’t let you in (or out as in my own experience). I can’t put my finger on why these venues are so terrible. Is it because they are a chain and the drinks aren’t as cheap? Or that the neon lights are so headache inducing, you spend more money trying to eradicate the feeling of being in a kids tv show? Or is it just because it’s legit been voted the worst club in the UK, previously? Probably all three!
Infernos – London
We move away from the cheesy pop scene to the 1980s pop scene, with Inferno club in Clapham, London. This is a classier type of place as only people over 21 are allowed in (probably to find someone who actually remembers the music).
Another sticky floor, but according to Tripadvisor, the music makes up for it. It’s open later than other clubs in the area so is the perfect place to end the night.
Typically the price of drinks comes up a lot in the complaints, along with watered down drinks and overcharging to get in – £10! I’ve never paid over a pound to get in any club (also showing how old I am).
A good end to the night when you’re already drunk!
Jesters – Southampton
As the fabulous Jess McDonald puts ‘Make sure you’re not wearing your favourite clothes as you will have snakebite over you by the end of the night’ – a place where fights between sailors on leave are pretty regular and the habitual sticky floor means you stay in one place all night. Some reviews also mention don’t wear your favourite shoes! What on earth goes on in this club?
I sense a theme that these clubs are the worst but also the best for night’s out because they are so terrible!
Loads of reviews agree that it’s the worst place to be when sober, so go when already drunk and you’ll be grand.
Acapulco – Halifax
A club that was an obvious choice in this list. For a medium sized town, Halifax does well in the club scene. Don’t get me wrong, Leeds (see below) has plenty of dodgy clubs but none come close to Acca.
Some of the cheapest drinks on our list, 75p, Acca has a reputation as being the best night out in the worst place you can go.
Good music, cheap drinks and the inevitable sticky floor, the bouncers who are a little too rough and ready and in a town that has influxes from students from both sides of the border for their night out.
Space – Leeds
I wasn’t going to mention Leeds as there are so many, but Space came up in every conversation.
It was named the most crime-ridden club in Leeds, with a playlist that could have been lifted straight from dodgy DJ’s on Spotify. I’m not sure if this added to the crime or is the sole reason for the title.
Unlike most clubs, you can’t even do requests – the Top 40 playlist lust loops for most of the night, mixed with weird dubstep or trance samples.
A truly awful place to go for your night out, yet it’s always packed.
The Hive – Edinburgh
A last-minute entry into my last as it has recently been done up to cope with recent restrictions.
However, sticky floors will be back once everything opens up again and the Hive will be back to being emo central. A few cheap drinks and some rock music from the early 2000s will soon have you head-banging and wishing you still had that black shirt/white tie combo and your girlfriend looked like Avril Lavigne.
These clubs popped up over and over again in my research but have already closed down permanently. They are where some of our most favourite memories have been made and we salute them for their service to student nights, cheesy music, and……sticky floors!
Boardwalk – Sheffield: closed in 2020, a staple for any student or young person in Sheffield, it has the privilege of being the place where The Clash did their first gig. Things went downhill after that.
Tiger Tiger – Manchester: A bar that consistently had fights spilling out onto the streets of Manchester so much so, that even the bouncers gave up. Closed in 2019 and is now Eden – a more upmarket cocktail bar and restaurant.
Grafton – Liverpool: One for the older set! A club that saw many good and bad days and seemed to constantly be in the news – for all the wrong reasons. There is even a documentary about it. The club has legendary status in Liverpool.
Ronnies – Bury: Ok, this is in there because it’s my hometown club! It shut down in around 2009 (I think) but it was the best place ever for those on the cusp of adulthood. Cheap drinks, a staircase that was see-through and the stickiest of sticky floors. Too many student nights out were spent here getting drunk before trying to walk home. A great night, but the worst club.
What makes a club the worst?
Sticky floors? Cheap drinks? Overzealous bouncers? Who knows?! The worst nightclubs all have one thing in common; most people had the best nights of their lives in there. They had to, to make up for the absolutely awful place they were in.
Clubs may be shut for now, but they’ll be back, sticky floors, cheap drinks and all that goes with them.