The manager of Crookes’ ever popular social club said it was his finest moment yet to see his business named the best entertainment club in the country.
Crookes Social Club picked up the accolade last Friday night at the 2019 Club Mirror Awards, hosted at Doncaster Racecourse for the 28th edition of the magazine’s annual event.
The club’s general manager, Maurice Champeau, was quick to thank the many happy customers whose online reviews, he said, were key to bringing the award home to Crookes.
“It’s the recognition we get from our customers online – the reviews have gone a long way to helping us. We’re very proud that we’re the number one night spot in Sheffield on TripAdvisor.”
From jazz to jiu-jitsu, from pantos to politics, Mr Champeau believes the key to the club’s success has been the diversity of events and their desire to be Crookes’ “community hub”, holding meetings for anyone and anything – within reason.
And for the active kind, the venue hosts eleven lawn bowls clubs during the warmer season, with players as old as 88 and as young as 13.
“Our customers have got to believe that this is their second home for them to justify actually coming in and visiting us,” he said.
The club is one of what the 52-year-old describes as a “dying breed” of working men’s clubs, which has more than halved in number since the 1970s, when such clubs were at the height of their popularity.
But standing high and mighty above 120 other pubs and clubs in the rankings on TripAdvisor, it is clear that Mr Champeau and his team are doing something right to keep customers flowing through the doors every evening.
“The last statistic I saw, these clubs were closing at four a week,” he said.
“During the 50s through to the 70s these were massively profitable places, but we’ve moved away from that an awful lot – industry is changing, social lives are changing and we are competing with home entertainment, so we have to give people a reason to come out in the evenings.”
Whilst Mr Champeau recognises the award as the club’s best moment yet, their sights are still set on going a step further.
They were runners-up to Roehampton Club in the battle for the King of Clubs, the most prestigious award of the lot.
“For me, second ain’t good enough,” he said, “I’m aiming very squarely for that next year.”