The Blackpool Tower Lounge, Bank Hey Street entrance

Blackpool Tower Lounge

Back in the day, Blackpool Tower Lounge was a legendary drinking establishment, underneath the famous Blackpool Tower. It’s doors finally closed in 2014.

MANY THANKS to Nick Moore and his fascinating History of Blackpool for some of the historical information used in this piece. You can read it here. (Please note, the original information is copyright to Nick Moore and this edited form to Live Blackpool).

The Blackpool Tower Lounge in the Early Days

The Blackpool Tower opened on Whit Monday, 14 May 1894. There’s much more about the History of Blackpool Tower here.

The ground floor of the Tower’s North Wing was built with a cafe and restaurant which could accommodate an astonishing 1000 people! It had a fountain in the centre and a balcony surrounding the entire room.

Soon renamed the Tower Bar, it stretched all the way to the north-eastern corner of the building, in the space now occupied by the ‘Greedy Pig’ and Harry Ramsden. Above it was the Assembly Room, opened in August 1894 to become the ballroom. The Blackpool Tower was also finally granted a liquor licence in August 1894.

Tower Bar on the corner which KFC now occupies. 1895
Tower Bar on the corner which KFC now occupies. 1895

A new name, a fire and a re-opening!

In the mid 1920’s the restaurant part of the Tower Bar was renamed the Tower Lounge. Sadly it burned down on 14 December 1956 in a fire caused by a lit cigarette, which also destroyed the Tower Ballroom.

But the Tower Lounge reopened in May 1958 and, after 18 months of repairs so did the ballroom. Completely rebuilt into the old Tower Restaurant, the Tower Lounge could once again seat over 1000 people, the same as the old restaurant. The legendary venue soon became a place of live entertainment for the masses.

Locals and visitors from far and wide, looking for a great fun day or night out in Blackpool, would be drawn into the electric atmosphere of this fantastic venue. It was truly legendary and missed by many. Some have met loved ones, celebrated birthdays and special occasions in “party central” at the foot of The Blackpool Tower.

The Legendary Tower Lounge logo
Frontage of the Blackpool Tower building in 2013
Frontage of the Blackpool Tower building in 2013 – – see the Tower Lounge bottom left

After the 1956 fire, the north-eastern corner space of the original Tower Bar became the Starlight Bar, then the Continental Bar – not to be confused with the Winter Gardens’ Continental Bar! In 1974 it became the Tennessee Pancake House (a particular favourite of VFC publisher Jane’s grandma!).

After a name change to the American Pancake House it became a Kentucky Fried Chicken before closing for the Covid-19 pandemic. Then in January 2021 it was announced that this KFC wouldn’t reopen once the coronavirus lockdown was over. For a long time the building stood empty. But in autumn 2023 the doors reopened once more, as the Greedy Pig Restaurant…

Closure of the Blackpool Tower Lounge

And so after six decades of the very best party entertainment, The Blackpool Tower Lounge announced it’s last season.

Latterly the venue for many a stag and hen party and a great night out, it finally closed the doors on 9 November 2014. Unfortunately modern drinking culture isn’t compatible with a town centre location and the revellers spilling out onto Bank Hey Street didn’t give the town a good name.

Blackpool Tower, with the former Tower Lounge building boarded up on the bottom left corner
Blackpool Tower, with the former Tower Lounge building boarded up on the bottom left corner

£2.4 Million investment in the world famous Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Council announced the flagship Harry Ramsden fish restaurant was to open at the Blackpool Tower complex in the former Lounge Bar. The restaurant is located in the space previously occupied by the Tower Lounge bar.

The operator of the restaurant invested £2m into the venture, moving from previous premises at the promenade corner of Church Street. Blackpool Council contributed a further £0.4m towards the building works.

The rebranded Northern Flagship of the world famous restaurant chain created 100 new jobs. It also safeguarded 30 existing jobs in the town. Opened on 21 July 2016 it’s one of a series of high class eateries to invest in Blackpool. We reviewed fish and chips at Harry Ramsden, watch it here.

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Remember the Tower Lounge?

Did you frequent this famous party place? Loved to spend your weekends there, soaking up the atmosphere (and the booze!)? Why don’t you leave a comment below and record your memories of the Tower Lounge.

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5 thoughts on “Blackpool Tower Lounge”

  1. Loved The Tower Lounge, just the best bar ever, On holiday in 1992 with my best Mate, we spent almost all our time in here, it’s where she met her Husband!

  2. Christine Kearney

    Omg I used to love the tower lounge it was just about the only place we ever went .it was a fantastic place I’m so sad it’s closed it was 20 years ago when I was there last ???

  3. Chris Littlewood

    I had to babysit my younger brother and sister till about 11 then after a night in the Tower Lounge mum dad and big sis would arrive Dad would take over ( fall straight asleep) and I was allowed to play bingo with the girls at Central Station then fishnchip supper at top of Hull Road – heaven ?

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