Southend nightclub business is better than ever: Dick de Vigne's boss says town is booming

Echo: Dick Devigne Dick Devigne

A NIGHTCLUB boss says business is better then ever, despite another businessman claiming Southend’s nightspots were struggling.

Dick Devigne, 68, says his club – Dick de Vigne’s – has been full to capacity every Friday and Saturday night for the past decade.

He says the venue holds 500 people and is packed each week, despite claims from fellow town club boss Richard Shea, 44, who said he was considering renting out his three remaining clubs because of the struggle to make money.

Mr Devigne, a former DJ, said: “At Dick de Vigne’s we are still bursting at the seams. We have had to turn people away every Friday and Saturday night since we opened.”

Six months ago he opened Box, in Lucy Road, in place of the former Zinc nightclub, which closed more than a year ago.

He also reopened Chameleon, in Lucy Road, two years ago after the lease went on the market when the previous owner went bust.

He said: “When I took on Chameleon, people in the trade said I was mad, but it is now hitting capacity and it can hold 1,100 people.

“Box is in its infancy, but we are already hitting the 400 mark out of a 550 capacity. Lucy Road had died off for clubbing, so it was a risk investing there, but it’s paying off.

“We’ve really put Lucy Road back on the clubbing map."

He said he had a number of pointers in making a club a success, adding: “My policy is to have friendly doormen.

“I still choose who we have on the door. Of course we have some problems, because when you’re selling alcohol that goes with the territory, but we have friendly doormen, not bullies, to deal with it.

“If you run your club like the fastest gun in the west there will always be someone who will come back to try to take the doormen on.”

He says clubs need investment to survive and it was important for clubs to appeal to all ages.

He added: “Dick de Vigne’s is for all ages – your over 25s.

Chameleon is 21 plus and more dance music. Box is the most serious for dance music of the three.”

Mr Devigne cut his teeth working at clubs across Essex, including Talk of the South, now Talk, in Lucy Road, more than ten years ago.

Comments (14)

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11:15am Sun 16 Feb 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Mr Devigne cut his teeth working at clubs across Essex, including Talk of the South, now Talk, in Lucy Road, more than ten years ago.


10 years..? more like 30 years i reckon.
Mr Devigne cut his teeth working at clubs across Essex, including Talk of the South, now Talk, in Lucy Road, more than ten years ago. 10 years..? more like 30 years i reckon. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 12

11:42am Sun 16 Feb 14

lucy10 says...

box is the best place to get drugs in southend
box is the best place to get drugs in southend lucy10
  • Score: -1

12:01pm Sun 16 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Remember this man has a lot of fingers in a lot of Pies, some legit others? well, and if you have loadsamoney coming in, of course it's coming from the legit businesses aint it...
Remember this man has a lot of fingers in a lot of Pies, some legit others? well, and if you have loadsamoney coming in, of course it's coming from the legit businesses aint it... You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: 7

12:37pm Sun 16 Feb 14

TheEssexWay says...

Dick Devignes full to capacity! Yes, with a load of absolute mingers! Looks like the ugly bugs ball in there! Hideous place!
Dick Devignes full to capacity! Yes, with a load of absolute mingers! Looks like the ugly bugs ball in there! Hideous place! TheEssexWay
  • Score: 18

3:18pm Sun 16 Feb 14

southchurch guy says...

TheEssexWay wrote:
Dick Devignes full to capacity! Yes, with a load of absolute mingers! Looks like the ugly bugs ball in there! Hideous place!
if its that bad why do you go? you must have an exciting life to always be on here moaning about everything....
[quote][p][bold]TheEssexWay[/bold] wrote: Dick Devignes full to capacity! Yes, with a load of absolute mingers! Looks like the ugly bugs ball in there! Hideous place![/p][/quote]if its that bad why do you go? you must have an exciting life to always be on here moaning about everything.... southchurch guy
  • Score: 7

11:05am Mon 17 Feb 14

Who_Flung_Dung says...

So if Dick de Vignes is "Full to capacity" each weekend, why do they supply different figures to the Police each week when asked on their capacity. I think Mr De Vigne is telling a few porky pies in this article!!

Shame on him!!
So if Dick de Vignes is "Full to capacity" each weekend, why do they supply different figures to the Police each week when asked on their capacity. I think Mr De Vigne is telling a few porky pies in this article!! Shame on him!! Who_Flung_Dung
  • Score: 9

12:32pm Mon 17 Feb 14

jpw0809 says...

I had the unfortunate experience of going to celebrate a friends birthday at Dick De Vignes a few weeks back. It was my first and my last time going there. I can only describe the clientele as a cross between the Jeremy Kyle casting show and maybe some characters from the movie "The Hills have eyes". Actually maybe a few from Little Britains Fat fighters then again thats probably why it is at full capacity! ;-)
I had the unfortunate experience of going to celebrate a friends birthday at Dick De Vignes a few weeks back. It was my first and my last time going there. I can only describe the clientele as a cross between the Jeremy Kyle casting show and maybe some characters from the movie "The Hills have eyes". Actually maybe a few from Little Britains Fat fighters then again thats probably why it is at full capacity! ;-) jpw0809
  • Score: 12

1:38pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Southend's Finest says...

Dick De Vigne's aka Monsters Inc!
Dick De Vigne's aka Monsters Inc! Southend's Finest
  • Score: 9

2:26pm Mon 17 Feb 14

carlosfandango30 says...

At no point in the article did it say DDV's was a glam club that only let in stunners! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Perhaps instead of denoucing DDV's people should look at the success he is making of the club and providing a space where older members of the public can feel comfortable. With regards to Mayhem and it's struggling owner's views can we then not aplaud DDV for having a business model that works (even if it lines his pockets) The guy is 68 years old and getting it right, the owner of Mayhem could perhaps take a few pointers from him. Also, i am 31 and have frequented clubs since i was 15 (nappy night at Adlib on a sunday) in Southend and can honestly say that DDV's holds a special place in my heart. Not only are the doorman reasonable, the price of drinks good value and safety in of paramount importance but also the place I met my now wife. I ask you, would you honestly look in the mirror and say that you are beautiful - if you do I offer that you are the problem.
At no point in the article did it say DDV's was a glam club that only let in stunners! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Perhaps instead of denoucing DDV's people should look at the success he is making of the club and providing a space where older members of the public can feel comfortable. With regards to Mayhem and it's struggling owner's views can we then not aplaud DDV for having a business model that works (even if it lines his pockets) The guy is 68 years old and getting it right, the owner of Mayhem could perhaps take a few pointers from him. Also, i am 31 and have frequented clubs since i was 15 (nappy night at Adlib on a sunday) in Southend and can honestly say that DDV's holds a special place in my heart. Not only are the doorman reasonable, the price of drinks good value and safety in of paramount importance but also the place I met my now wife. I ask you, would you honestly look in the mirror and say that you are beautiful - if you do I offer that you are the problem. carlosfandango30
  • Score: -6

10:16pm Mon 17 Feb 14

essextoppy says...

Dick De Vigne was the DJ at TOTS when my husband and I met there 34 years ago!!!! Somewhat longer than the 10 years mentioned in the article.
Dick De Vigne was the DJ at TOTS when my husband and I met there 34 years ago!!!! Somewhat longer than the 10 years mentioned in the article. essextoppy
  • Score: 1

11:03pm Mon 17 Feb 14

mrjames says...

haha u haters do make me laugh its such a dump bla bla yeah the place which is full every weekend ..I know for a fact dick devignes does not tell the police the wrong figures how funny all of hes venues are busy and when they might be down on numbers one week they will never tell the police lies there are certain places round southend who do lie fact .......
haha u haters do make me laugh its such a dump bla bla yeah the place which is full every weekend ..I know for a fact dick devignes does not tell the police the wrong figures how funny all of hes venues are busy and when they might be down on numbers one week they will never tell the police lies there are certain places round southend who do lie fact ....... mrjames
  • Score: 1

11:09pm Mon 17 Feb 14

mrjames says...

and lucy you can get drugs where ever u go so naming one place because dick devigne is a successful businessman shame on u
and lucy you can get drugs where ever u go so naming one place because dick devigne is a successful businessman shame on u mrjames
  • Score: 2

9:58am Tue 18 Feb 14

Missjane19 says...

Drugs you can get anywhere now a days it is unfortunately a way of life. I recently went to the box for a night out a new club and don't go out much. I was on the balcony and someone had stated that they were on drugs I chose to ignore them but within 10 minutes the doormen had approached the gentleman and escorted him to the front. In no way were they rude or aggressive and as for ddv to state that only ugly people go in there is absolutely disgusting. Would u still stand by that comment if your mum sister or partner went in there? People forget that every club has a set clientele exampling in ddv where the majority is the older generation who just want to have a good night. Or mayhem is usually for the younger people. All clubs have a target audience for music, drink prices and events the club holds. If you owned a club u mean to tell me that u wouldn't allow ugly people in? Ud get no1 through the door!
Drugs you can get anywhere now a days it is unfortunately a way of life. I recently went to the box for a night out a new club and don't go out much. I was on the balcony and someone had stated that they were on drugs I chose to ignore them but within 10 minutes the doormen had approached the gentleman and escorted him to the front. In no way were they rude or aggressive and as for ddv to state that only ugly people go in there is absolutely disgusting. Would u still stand by that comment if your mum sister or partner went in there? People forget that every club has a set clientele exampling in ddv where the majority is the older generation who just want to have a good night. Or mayhem is usually for the younger people. All clubs have a target audience for music, drink prices and events the club holds. If you owned a club u mean to tell me that u wouldn't allow ugly people in? Ud get no1 through the door! Missjane19
  • Score: 3

10:39am Tue 18 Feb 14

mrjames says...

missjane19
i couldnt agree with u more .the thing is mr devigne is clearly getting slagged of for running good succsessful places as soon as u walk thru the door at dick devignes your made to feel welcome by the friendly doorstaff u can walk into some places around southend and ur made to feel not welcome
missjane19 i couldnt agree with u more .the thing is mr devigne is clearly getting slagged of for running good succsessful places as soon as u walk thru the door at dick devignes your made to feel welcome by the friendly doorstaff u can walk into some places around southend and ur made to feel not welcome mrjames
  • Score: 2

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