This is certainly one of the roller fans favourite places! Roller Nation, it's disco music, a vintage look and customers with rollerblades. Fun and laughter guaranteed!
In the north of London, in the Tottenham district, a stone's throw away from Bruce Grove underground station, there is a very atypical nightclub. The principle? Disco music, rollerblades and a night of dancing and skating. This name : Roller Nation.
As soon as we enter the establishment, we go for an express ride in a Delorean, direction the 70s. Here, everything is vintage, from the old aluminium bar to the brown leather seats. The dance floor also brings back memories of nightclubs from 35 years ago, because yes, this place has been open since 1985, which makes it one of the oldest clubs in Greater London.
Groov'n'dance: A taste of nostalgia
Keeping the tradition of roller clubs alive is not easy in the 21st century. Very few of them still exist, which makes Anthony Joseph's club a UFO in the nightlife world.
As soon as we enter the club, you can feel the effervescence! Ankles and shoulders warmed up for a good game of rollerblading, and here are the customers rushing on the dancefloor ready to show their best skills. Well, for the more daring, because if some are confident with their roller shoes, others even have trouble slaloming between the tables to order a drink or one of famous Roller Nation burgers.
One of the regulars, Jeremiah, says:
"I love this atmosphere, I come with friends almost every week, we come to eat, drink and even skate, even if I confess I'm not very good".
"A place for roller fans!"
"I wanted to create a place where all roller fans could meet."
Explains Anthony Joseph, one of the owners of the establishment. No doubt about it, Anthony succeeded in his bet! The smiles and laughter of the customers, perched on their rollerblades, is infectious, nothing seems to alter the good mood.
"Before it was a nightclub, we used to organise rollerblading competitions and even fashion shows here. In the beginning, these competitions attracted a lot of people, but as time went by, the stands became more and more empty, so we had to think about converting this place into something new. The idea of the club came up very quickly, and it's been going on for 35 years!"
Says Anthony proudly.
Roller Nation: Giving an activity fo young people in this suburbs
The man everyone calls AJ says:
"I wanted to create this club, in a poor suburb of London, to give an activity to the young people of the area".
In this district of south Tottenham, "there is nothing to do", so this club allows anyone who wants to, from Thursday to Monday, to share an evening with friends.
"You can dance, skate, have a drink, eat, it's a real place of life in the area, people appreciate it and let us know by coming back week after week".
For Anthony Joseph, the project is to continue on this path:
"We have every evening at least 100-200 people, sometimes more than 300 on Saturday! After being closed for more than 15 months because of Covid, we just want to enjoy and have fun".
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