THE HISTORY OF KREMLIN

Kremlin opened it's doors in March 1999 in a blaze of publicity. Previously the Penny Farthing, the small, sedate public bar was transformed into a disco bar, members lounge and a club room at the back.

As was traditional in Belfast, Kremlin was emptied onto the streets on its opening night after a hoax bomb-scare was received. The source of the scare still remains a mystery, but it definitely misfired, as it catapulted Kremlin to front pages of the national press as drag queens danced in the streets on top of Police landrovers.

In November 2000, the members lounge was remodelled as Tsar, a lavish public bar at the front of the building. This was followed by the club room being extended to become Red Square, Kremlin's arena style club room.

October 2005 saw the largest single investment in the gay community in Ireland, with the combined redevelopment of the entire venue in a multi million pound project. In phase one, the Long Bar and Tsar Cocktail Bar were completely rebuilt, with new second levels added. In phase two this mezzanine was further expanded, adding a second floor area to Red Square, complete with additional bars.

Finally in phase three, the walkway was further extended to a new large outdoor multi-leveled area, popular with fresh air and smoking enthusiasts alike. Work was completed in late 2007 without closing for a single night.

Additional developments in and around Kremlin included the opening of Union Street, a completely separate large two levelled public bar, which operates as a separate entity, yet via a network of corridors enables it to link up with Kremlin for special occasions. A third venue, The Shoe Factory acts as a large function space for both Union Street events and Kremlin growing crowds.

Now it itís sixteenth year, and more than three times the size of the original, Kremlin continues to develop and expand to accommodate ever growing audiences and revellers. In May 2009 the original creators of Kremlin passed on the mantle to a new generation of gay owners and management team, continuing with the ethos that has made Kremlin one of Northern Irelandís shining success stories.