New Hastings bar with fire performers and drag artists to open

A new bar featuring fire performers, Broadway stars, and drag artists is preparing to open in Hastings Old Town.

The Victorian-themed Dr Jekylls will be opening on June 25.

It is located at 10 George Street, in the building formerly occupied by Blackmarket VIP.

It will open under the ownership and directorship of Lee Batholomew.

Blackmarket VIP, in George Street, Hastings, has been transformed into Dr Jekylls. It is set to open on June 25. SUS-210520-131329001

On June 25, its first night open to the public, will feature a ‘flagship themed night’ called Freakshow Friday. This will consist of fire performers, wax performers, real-life ‘freaks’, Broadway stars, drag acts and more live music.

The new bar will also feature a circus-themed balcony room overlooking the action below, as well as a ballpit.

John Bownas, the manager of Hastings Business Improvement District (BID) said Dr Jekylls had been transformed into a ‘really spectacular looking space’.

Businesses in Hastings are preparing for a busy summer season, after the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic caused the local tourism sector in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the sector supported more than 16,000 jobs across 1066 Country, and generated more than £700 million for the local economy, according to Kevin Boorman, manager of the 1066 Country Marketing tourism partnership.

Mr Bownas added: “The coming few months will be exciting in Hastings as we move into a summer season that’s bound to see an influx of domestic tourism. And it’s great to see how many hospitality and amusement businesses are getting ready to deal with this demand.

“Down in the Old Town, Blackmarket VIP is transforming into a really spectacular looking space called Dr Jekylls, and the new rollercoaster ride is already popular.

“This is just a small selection of what’s going on in town right now.

“There are still challenges, but we are talking to the council and other businesses about how we can invest in improvements to Hastings that will encourage more people to visit and keep coming back.”