Alex Lloyd finds that a favourite York nightclub has had a facelift.

THOSE of you who regularly visit The Gallery will have noticed a few changes at the Clifford Street nightclub in recent weeks.

Out goes the old "heaven and hell" themed dcor and in comes a plush £1 million refurbishment, designed by the same people who worked on Gatecrasher in Sheffield and the Life Bar in Leeds.

The transformation has been slowly taking place since mid-February, with work carrying on around the club's hectic seven-nights-a-week schedule, but now the ugly duckling is set to celebrate its journey to swanhood with a VIP launch party on Wednesday.

Highlights of the new layout include a dramatic red bar on the upper floor, extra dancefloor space in the New York-themed basement and lots more quiet "chill-out" areas with plenty of seating.

The building's spectacular entrance lobby is another area of improvement, with a new purple and silver colour scheme to match the club's updated logo while the beautiful Tiffany chandelier has undergone specialist cleaning and been lowered.

The VIP lounge has also been luxuriously spruced up, and a wider range of specialist wines, spirits and champagnes introduced behind the bar.

The new look is designed to place The Gallery on a par with the trendy nightspots of Leeds and provide the club's regular customers, who can now pick up a new loyalty card, with a more modern venue which offers all the benefits of a late-night bar as well as those of a club.

But rest assured, the club's management has no plans to change its diverse music policy and will continue to offer two varied rooms of music, taking in everything from commercial dance, chart and pop to indie, northern soul to R'n'B and hip hop, plus the resident pianist in the VIP lounge on weekends.

The Gallery, Clifford Street, 01904 647947. Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 10pm-2am, Fri-Sat 9.30pm-3am, Sun 9.30pm-1am. Visit for more information.

Updated: 09:05 Friday, April 23, 2004