Durham couple open new upmarket jazz and supper club

By Naomi Clarke

A new 1920s Shanghai-inspired supper club has been opened in Durham by a local couple, Nigel and Deborah Gadd, after a £1 million renovation.

The couple has remodelled The Rabbit Hole on Hallgarth Street, formerly a tapas restaurant, into a restaurant that pays homage “to a bygone era of decadence.”

Located on 17 Hallgarth Street, the restaurant is secreted behind a “ramshackle-looking” antique shop, with a concealed entrance on Mavin street.

The restaurant aims to maintain its upmarket atmosphere with a ban on laptops and speaking on telephones after 6 pm, as well as strict dress code.

The Rabbit Hole’s house rules request that guests “refrain from wearing sportswear of any kind, flip-flops, sandals, scruffy t-shirts, tired and dirty trainers, gym wear, torn jeans or baseball caps.”

However, Nigel Gadd, the owner of the new restaurant told Palatinate: “We plan to hold student promotions at our Sunday sessions which will run from 12-8, which will provide discounts and entertainment.”

We plan to hold student promotions at our Sunday sessions which will run from 12-8, which will provide discounts and entertainment.

The couple owns the existing Zen restaurant in Court Lane and the Forty Winks Hotel and Guest House. The Gadd family also run Tango Durham, on Elvet Bridge, as well as House of Gentlemen barber shop.

Nigel Gadd added, “The hostess will greet you and lead you into a lavish inner sanctum, where the aroma of incense mingles with the rhythm of mellow seductive jazz.”

Diners can choose between fine dining at The Supper Club, which offers romantic candlelit tables for two or intimate seating for small groups. The club describes their menu as “dual personality”, a fusion of oriental and grill.

Meanwhile, diners will be entertained by a projector that plays old films and a stage which they wish to be a focal point for live performances for budding jazz performers.

The Rabbit Hole also features a speakeasy-style drinking lounge which has been described by its owners as “an ode to the chic subterranean prohibition-style speakeasy when booze was banned yet free flowing!”

The aroma of incense mingles with the rhythm of mellow seductive jazz

They will be holding a launch night on Thursday 18th October for the public to get a feel for their new local jazz spot.

The Former Musical Director of Durham University’s Big Band Zach Fox told Palatinate, The Rabbit Hole will “provide another fantastic outlet for Jazz in Durham. The platform it is providing for students who perform Jazz can only be a good thing!”

Photography via The Rabbit Hole

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