Additions to Horsham’s only nightclub

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A new sports bar complete with eight pool tables and a big screen are just some of the features giving fresh appeal to the Chameleon night club, Horsham.

Thanks to a refurbishment carried out just two weeks ago, the second downstairs bar at the Superbowl complex now boasts live sports coverage and the only pool hall within 20 miles of the town, says the venue’s management.

JPCT 280613 The Chameleon club. Manager Nathan Hicks left and Matt Barnwell operations managerPhoto by Derek Martin

JPCT 280613 The Chameleon club. Manager Nathan Hicks left and Matt Barnwell operations managerPhoto by Derek Martin

The facility is also used by world-class nine-ball player, Morray Dolan.

The sports bar remains open at the same time as Chameleon next door, Horsham’s one and only night club.

In keeping with its name, the late-night venue has seen several changes in appearance over the years, most recently since last September.

The club’s management are proud of the new look.

“It’s had a complete facelift - new furniture, the carpet that used to get really sticky is all gone, a fresh paint job, new lighting, additions to the sound system and DJ booth, and the bar has been made a lot bigger,” said Nathan Hicks, 34, who has been manager of the complex for one and a half years.

“Anyone who has come in since it was refurbished has found that the atmosphere is a lot better and you can get served a lot easier”.

Horsham may not be a top destination for clubbers, but according to operations manager, Matt Barnwell, 29, Chameleon gives its customers the real deal. “I’m from Kingston, and this isn’t far off what you’d get in a London venue. We’re trying to create a much bigger club feel, inside the local club”.

A few big names have already featured on the guest list.

“We’ve had the actor, Danny Dyer, Mark Wright from The Only Way Is Essex, and Sophie Kasaei and Joel Corry from Geordie Shore,” listed Nathan.

“We’re also getting Darren Osborne from Hollyoaks, aka Ashley Taylor-Dawson, and we’ve got DJ Pioneer from Kiss 100 next month.

“We use the club for completely different styles of music”, Matt explained.

“Friday is retro and alternative, Saturday is more chart commercial,” and last Sunday the club staged hardcore guitar festival, Throw Down.

Headlining the event was Palm Reader, the promising metal group from Woking, Surrey, who performed at this year’s Download Festival.

“They’re a big, big band to have down here,” said Matt.

Horsham residents may be aware of a number of past security incidents at Chameleon.

But the club is under entirely different management from when the majority of these disturbances occurred.

Discussions with Sussex Police led to the installation of an ID scanner in September last year, a measure increasingly found in late-night clubs and bars in cities. Matt said he has confidence in the club’s security staff: “If there ever is an issue, they’re there straight away to deal with it professionally and quickly.

“There have been no major incidents and no questions raised by the police since we’ve reopened it under Nathan.”

There are perks to running the only night club in Horsham, said Nathan: “You get to know all the locals, really quite quickly. 90 per cent of the people that come in, I know by their first name already.

“If there’s some sort of small problem, like a lost phone, in a big club that wouldn’t get handed in, but here it does,” he said, with pride. Matt agreed: “It’s very stressful but also very rewarding, and at the end of a night that’s gone off without a hitch, you feel like you’ve achieved something.

“Saying goodbye to the customers and doling out the water bottles at the end of the night, they’re all thanking you and it’s a good feeling”.

The sports bar, pool hall and Chameleon club room can be hired for private use. See the Chameleon Horsham Facebook page for contact information and news on events.