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New Cocktail Lounge and Club on Exeter's Quayside

PUBLISHED: 11:37 15 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:32 20 February 2013

Co-owner Chris Sandiford and Havana's General Manager Nadrah Al Shawi

Co-owner Chris Sandiford and Havana's General Manager Nadrah Al Shawi

A new venue is opening on Exeter Quay for cocktails, comedy and live music. Local entrepreneur Rex Rozario and businessman Chris Sandiford will open the venue under the former name Havana and introduce a brand new cocktail bar and lounge, 'Mojitos'

The building on the historical quay previously home to indian restaurant 'Bombay Bills' is reopening as an entertainment venue for comedy and live music. The new partnership of local entrepreneur Rex Rozario and businessman Chris Sandiford sees the venue open under the former name Havana and introduce a brand new cocktail bar and lounge called Mojitos.

Mojitos will have its own separate entrance from the Quayside as well as access from the main club. Hopes are that this new multifaceted venue will satisfy growing demand for a cosmopolitan meeting place in the City, particularly following the closure of Ex-Shed last year.

Co-partner Chris Sandiford has a long history in nightclub management, starting as a glass collector in Peter Stringfellow's Millionaire Club he went on to manage top clubs in London and Manchester then moved on to run a successful music venue in St Albans in the early eighties, before moving to Exeter to Manage Coolings for several years.

Chris says, We're very passionate about re-instating the comedy nights that proved so popular and establish Havana as a reputable music venue, giving people more choice when it comes to live music and entertainment in the city. Music is a passion of mine and it is certainly going to be a big part of the club.

Havana has a capacity of 450 and will be opening between 12 noon and 1.30 am from Thursday to Sunday serving Cuban inspired food from a brand new menu between 12 noon 3.00 pm & 6.30 9.30 pm. The club and cocktail lounge will also be available to hire privately for parties and functions from Monday Wednesday weekly.

The co-partners are looking to open the venue quickly in order to capture the summer trade on the popular Quay and have plans to enhance the venue taking it to another level during the winter months.

Rex Rozario says, We have carried out minor refurbishments in order to get the club open ready for local trade and visiting tourists but we have much more ambitious plans for improving the venue. In town, many places cater for the younger audience but Havana will have something for all ages including students and Exeter's thriving business community. We have a great team in place for the upcoming summer and are happy to be providing something we feel both the Quayside and Exeter have been crying out for.

Havana's is officially opening its doors on Saturday 11th June with a huge launch party offering free entry to everyone. Six piece ska & reggae fusion band Peachy Farmer will be headlining at 10.00pm with additional performances from popular local reggae outfit Hot Dub Bikini Party, Daniel Rangel at 7.00 pm at Mojitos and some Brazilian smooth Latin guitar. Guests will receive a complementary glass of fizz on arrival provided by St Austell Brewery, tasters from the new menu and promotional drink offers all night.

The first comedy night will take place on the 12th June with future acts including modern day cabaret, illusionists and Devon's duo Kinky & Quirky Burlesque & Boogie Night.

City Centre Manager John Harvey says, "It's fantastic to see another lively business opening up in Exeter and I think Havana's will bring something different to the historical and popular Quayside."


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