Playboy club to reopen in London

Adult entertainment company Playboy is to open a nightclub in London, 30 years after the celebrity haunt shut-down in the city

A new Playboy club is all set to open in London next year, as the company begins to rebuild the international empire founded by Hugh Hefner.

The Bunny girls will return to London with the opening of the club, reports the Telegraph.

The original venue in Park Lane was once the height of decadence when it opened in the Swinging Sixties, attracting stars such as Sir Michael Caine, George Best and Jack Nicholson.

After closing its doors almost 30 years ago, following tighter gaming laws and a series of police raids, the club is to stage a comeback at a new location in London’s Mayfair.

Due to open in 2011, the club will feature a restaurant, lounge and gaming rooms. It will also feature the brand’s trademark Playboy Bunny hostesses, croupiers and cocktail servers.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said: ‘When we first opened the Playboy Club in London it was one of my favourite times for the brand. I look forward to our return to London and again sharing the notions that are celebrated in the magazine – the concept of good food and drink, pretty girls, and exciting entertainment.’

However, feminist writer Laurie Penny, who writes for the New Statesman, criticised the reopening, saying: ‘The Playboy empire is wilting and impotent. Its bunny branding is a tired, dated rehearsal of sterile stereotypes of femininity, all bouncy smiles and submission.’

Playboy is the latest in a series of luxury brands that are marking their territory in London, which is seeing a resurgence as a popular destination for wealthy visitors from the Gulf and Russia.

Although the number of visitors to the city has fallen over the past decade, the amount spent has continued to rise, attracting retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Apple and Swarovski, who have all opened flagship stores in the Capital this year.

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