Scene Before In Nottingham

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I set up a group on Facebook to gather information about Nottingham (Scene Before In Nottingham), of the past and present, and I've looked at Nottstalgia to an extent to gather more. I have now put some of that information into a website of the same name. I have taken pictures to show the sites of many of those remembered, or not, establishments.

It currently contains data about - clubs & venues (and bands/acts who played at some of them), shops, restaurants, coffee bars, some of the people who were around, certain events that happened.

This is a work-in-progress, but I hope people will help me to extend the information with photos, stories, memories. Please comment, good or bad. I hope you find it informative and enjoyable.

Here is the link:


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The latest article - about Rock Cemetery. Any extra information welcome.

It happened. I was in the Vernon at the time minding me own business, watching said film when a row of 5 or 6 seats arced across the auditorium in front of the screen accompanied by a lot of shouting

I did A levels at Digby around that time Lizzie and was on the student union . I also used to DJ between the bands breaks on the Saturday night dances . I do remember there being a folk club

Can anyone help me with some queries I have from the past.


- where exactly was the Don Juan coffee bar (on Parliament Street)?

- what was the name of the Italian restaurant on Lower Parliament Street next or so to Sun Valley opposite the Ice Stadium (certainly in the 80s)?

- what was the name of the restaurant above the shops on Wheeler Gate (now Dosa & Chutney) nextish to Eldon Chambers where the Beaujolais & Le Mistral were?


More as I think of them ...

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21 minutes ago, philmayfield said:

The Italian restaurant on Parliament St. was Luigi’s. We were regulars there. Because it was hot in the kitchen, Luigi used to swig copious amounts of red wine and rapidly became as p****d as a rat. He was a good chef drunk or sober though!

Where exactly was Luigi's?


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9 hours ago, Moz said:

I thought Trattoria Conte was on St James Street? Did it move to Wheeler Gate?


Youre right Trattoria Conte was on St James's street but Conte went back to Italy for a while if I remember right. When he returned he opened  the restaurant on Wheeler Gate. My husband used to work there.

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La Contessa was owned by The Berni Brothers which was Trattoria Conte.

Trattoria Roma was Nino's .

If I remember right Le Bistro was further up St James's street , think Alain was the chef.

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An article in the Nottingham Post from 2019, claimed that the restaurant on Forman Street became Punchinello in 1965. However there is a picture of the premises when it was the Empire Cafe and it became the Soup Kitchen (there is another picture of that) in 1975 or 1976. So when did it really become Punchinello?

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I sort of remember the Empire Cafe, whether I frequented there I really can’t remember.  I’ve no memories of cafes, bars, pubs, clubs in Nottingham between 1975 and 2004, during those years I was in exile down south, which was rather nice actually ........ but not so much fun and most definitely not as friendly. 

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I think it was at least in the 1980s when it became Punchinellos. The owner was my brother in law’s nephew, who later took over Woodborough Hall when he sold the Forman Street business for £1.2M in 2006.

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13 hours ago, Rob.L said:

I think it was at least in the 1980s when it became Punchinellos. 


I've looked in the online old phone books which go up to 1984 and it isn't in that edition, so it must've become Punchinellos after that year.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Quite a few updates made on the website:


The ‘Scene Before in Nottingham’ website has been enhanced with more information, more stories about Nottingham.


It now contains the following categories and sub-categories which can all be reached from the ‘Home’ page (just click on the pictures or words).


- Places – Clubs & Venues, Coffee Bars, Restaurants, Shops, Theatres

- People – In their own words – Alan Askey, Craig Strong, Metal Micky, Peter Groves, Offbeat Characters

- Performance – who played at The Boat Club, the Dungeon, the Rescue Rooms, Rock City, the Sandpiper plus the Gate to Southwell and Splendour festivals

- Life – events in the city, videos showing the past

- Landscape – buildings, natural phenomena, passageway & stairways, plaqiues, statues & artwork


Please read, pass comments, let me know if you have facts, stories, pictures to add. After all it is all about our lives. Information can be forwarded to the E-mail address specified on the ‘Home’ page (just below the clickable images).

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