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Peter Stringfellow’s ‘glitzy’ club that was one of George Best’s favourite haunts

What are your memories of The Millionaire nightclub?
The Millionaire Club

The Millionaire Club, affectionately known as “The Millionaire” was hugely popular in Manchester Throughout the 70s and 80s.

Founded in 1976 by the enigmatic entrepreneur Peter Stringfellow, this glittering gem quickly became synonymous with opulence, extravagance, and the crème de la crème of Manchester’s elite.

The Millionaire opened on the crest of the disco wave in 1976, with glitz and glamour coming as standard and a light-up dance floor accompanying smooth moves late into the night.

The insides were a stark contrast to what was going on outside in Manchester, and the UK, with the grim socio-economic climate of the era. It was truly a bleak time to be in the city, and the UK too.

Situated in a low-rise building discreetly tucked away near Piccadilly Gardens on Mosley Street, its unassuming facade belied the lavish spectacle that awaited inside.

The Millionaire Club

Millionaires Club
The Millionaire Club. Photo Credit: Andy Mac

Under the astute management of Roger Peters, The Millionaire Club cultivated an aura of sophistication that drew in a constellation of local celebrities and business magnates.

George Best was a fan

It was not uncommon to spot the legendary George Best, accompanied by Miss World, adding an extra sprinkle of stardust to its already glittering reputation.

Mike Summerbee is reported to have been a fan too, and could often be seen in the club.

It boasted a luxurious décor which included brass palm trees. The club soon became recognised across the city and beyond.

What was it like inside?

The Interior of the club was filled with luxury booths, with champagne at the ready and ‘some of the best food on offer in the city’ at the time.

It had two rectangular bars at each end, with a restaurant down one side and booths down the other.

In the middle was the dance floor, with a DJ in the middle of the action.

There was also a notoriously deadly set of stairs that used to claim many a victim after a few too many £3 cocktails.

All were delivered by waitresses in leopard-skin leotards and fishnets, adding a touch of risqué glamour to the proceedings, something Peter Stringfellow clubs would become synonymous with later in his career.

There were no live bands in The Millionaire Club. However, the Stringfellows hired named DJs including Peter Tyler and Brett Sinclair.

Piccadilly Radio presenters often made guest appearances, regulars being Dave Ward and Gary Davies.

Memories of The Millionaire Club

Brian Beech from Picadilly Radio shared his memories of the club.

He said: “In the 1980s, Piccadilly Radio and The Millionaire Club had a fantastic ‘friendship’.  Pete Stringfellow was often a guest on the radio station and Piccadilly presenters made guest appearances at the club, Dave Ward and Gary Davies being regulars.

“Tim Grundy did a few nights there and I was his wingman.

“It was the place to go.  Footballers, models and members of the media could be found there on most nights of the week.  However, despite its exclusive status, it was all welcoming and all-inclusive and reflected the ebullient and effusive personality of its founder, Peter Stringfellow.

“Effectively, though, it was his daughter Karen who ran the club.  She became a good friend and when I told her I’d be in London for the United v Everton Cup Final in 1985 she said, ‘Come to Strtingfellows as my guest.’

“Me and my mate, Niven, got there to be greeted by a long line of people trying to get in and two bouncers who seemed determined to keep everyone out.  ‘Yes lads, can I help you’, they asked in an intimidating manner, sensing that we were out-of-towners.

“‘Er, we’re on Karen Stringfellow’s guest list’, we stammered, at which point we were whisked to the front of the queue, where we were greeted by a beaming Karen and a glass of champagne, the first of many that night.  Sadly, the only celebrity we saw was United Jesper Olsen who we’d watched that afternoon.

“All moments in time, but very special moments.”

John Barry at the Millionaire Club. Photo Credit Andy Mac
John Barry at the Millionaire Club. Photo Credit Andy Mac

John Barry DJ’d at Millionaire Club in 1979, with his first audition in front of none other than Rod Stewart. He worked there up until 1986.

Monday night at The Millionaire

Monday nights at The Millionaire Club were the stuff of legends.

The city’s elite flocked to the establishment in droves, their Rolls Royces and Ferraris meticulously parked by the suave car jockey Paul.

Peter Stringfellow’s white Rolls was usually parked in pride of place out front.

Live music would set the stage for the evening, with local solo musicians serenading the early arrivals and diners, setting the tone for a night of revelry and indulgence.

During the early part of the night, live music would feature, with local solo musicians entertaining the early arrivals and diners.

The Millionaire Club - photo credit Andy Mac
The Millionaire Club – photo credit Andy Mac

What was The Millionaire Club crowd like?

Despite its aura of exclusivity, The Millionaire Club maintained an atmosphere that was refreshingly devoid of snobbery.

Regular patrons formed a tight-knit community bound by their shared love of music, glamour, and good times.

Later on, the club would become the Wiggly Worm and lose a bit of its shine,

The end of the Millionaire Club

Peter Stringfellow sold the club in 1980 to Granada and moved with his whole family to London where he opened Stringfellows in Covent Garden.

Rumours and legend

Amidst the glamour, The Millionaire Club was not immune to the occasional brush with the unpredictable and chaotic.

One night, a group of Salford lads who, after being refused entry, brazenly returned in a stolen car and rammed the entrance in a Ford Fiesta.

What are your memories of the Millionaire Club? Let us know! [email protected]

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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