Goodbye Chicago’s, Hello Bar & Beyond!

Regent Theartre - cinema treasures

Chelmsford’s nightlife is soon to undergo another change as Chicago’s on Moulsham Street will soon be rebranded as Bar & Beyond later in 2015.

Chicagos is owned by the Deltic Group, who also own Evoke. Recently G-Sunday’s and WILD LIFE were both moved from Chicagos to Evoke so that the popular gay and student nights could carry on while work is undertaken to transform the club into the new Bar & Beyond.

Peter Marks explained the reason for he change: “The Deltic Group is setting new standards in late night bars and clubs with well invested, stylish venues, high levels of customer service and unrivalled entertainment, to build our profile as the UK’s largest late night bar and club operator.”

Deltic Group is the UK’s third largest nightclub operator and they are experiencing rapid growth at the moment. Deltic Group, which was previously called The Luminar Group, bought eight nightclubs from Chicago Leisure in 2014.

Chicagos, soon to be Bar & Beyond, is housed in the former Regent Theatre that was opened in 1913 and became a full cinema in 1916.

Memory lane ….

A photo above is of the Regent Theatre building when it was a bingo and social club, in the days before the town centre was pedestrianised in 1991. Photo from

Music Venues

Photo of Martin CarthyChelmsford City is not famous for its music scene, but there are a few venues around where you can watch a variety of bands, from blues and jazz through to Brit-pop and rock. Most venues are small pubs and bars, although the larger theatres do put on some shows too. Here are the main places you can catch regular live music in Chelmsford.


Asylum is the newest live music venue in Chelmsford. It features Rock, Punk, Indy and Blues bands and is open four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday. They also have quiz nights and DJ nights.

The Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre hosts larger concerts in Chelmsford. Bookings are made through the Chelmsford Theatres contacts (see Cramphorn Theatre below).  The Civic Theatre is just past the railway station and bus station on Duke Street, within the same Civic Centre as the Civic Theatre.

  • Civic Centre, Duke St, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JG

Cramphorn Theatre

One of Chelmsford City Councils theatres, the Cramphorn is in the heart of the town and hosts plays, music and comedy. They have a lunchtime concert on most Wednsdays, which can be anything from jazz to classical, usually always local musicians. Chelmsford Jazz Club is on a Sunday lunchtime. All their music listings:…/music


Evoke is in the old Chancellor Hall in Chelmsford, on Market Road. Evoke hosts some live music events, usually on a Thursday night. Tickets can be booked via their website:

  • Evoke Nightclub
  • Market Road, CM1 1XA
  • 01245 492 881

The Bay Horse

The Bay Horse has live music every Friday and Saturday night from 10pm. Local bands play and there is always a good atmosphere. Have a meal at their Bistro first and then enjoy the rest of the evening with some live music.

The Golden Fleece

The Golden Fleece on Duke Street has recently reinvented itself as a rock music venue again, after a few years of being a more trendy bar. The main music night is Friday (Friday night Rocks night) with live rock plus DJs until 2am. Sometimes there is rock music on Sundays too. See

The Loop

The new venue in Chelmsford, The Loop has monthly Blues night and a fortnightly Acoustic night. Each fortnight The Loop provides an Acoustic Show featuring the very best of Chelmsford & Essex talent. The Loop is on Tindal Street in the town centre.

United Brethren Pub

The United Brethren Pub on New Writtle Street (01245 265165) has a regular folk night on Tuesday evenings.  From 8pm in the back room they practice – all are welcome.  Then from 9pm in the main bar they play.


Photo of Martin Carthy by Mike Garvey, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Licence.