FIRST things to go were a couple of the ironwork chandeliers. “A lady wanted them for her barn,” says Jamie Christian. “Have you noticed the torches? They’ve got sold on them.”
So who’s bought them? “I have,” he says.
Ah the famous ‘flaming torches’ in reception at Baldwin’s Omega. Uplit strips of cloth used to flicker like flames. I used to joke they only operated when Mr B – big boss David Baldwin – was in the building. But they will flicker no more here. The Omega is shortly to be demolished for housing and it’s having a closing down sale. Everything must go.
Jamie, the Operations Manager, is keeping an eye on things during the sale, which runs until Sunday. He and head chef Steve Roebuck will be opening a new venture, the Omega at Abbeydale, with the old ethos at Abbeydale Sports Club in September and those torches will be used somewhere.
We wander past tables stacked with candles, vases, wine glasses, crockery, chairs and veteran kitchen equipment and into the ballroom with its sprung floor. Several generations of dancers tripped the light fantastic here at functions and dinners, whisked their partners round the floor on salmon and strawberry nights or limboed under the bar on Caribbean evenings.
Jamie looks thoughtfully at the floor. “We should have cut it up into squares and sold them off to people who had their wedding receptions here.” But it’s for sale. Name a price, Jamie. “£500 and take it up yourself.”
I pass on that one but do buy a candle setting for a fiver. That’s not thinking quite out of the box as some people.
They’ve already sold basins from the ladies and one of the urinals from the gents, which once won David and his wife Pauline a Loo of the Year Award. I came down for The Star and we got a saucy picture of him pretending to take a pee. Just in case you were wondering, the Baldwin’s Omega sign on Psalter Lane is not for sale. They plan to take it to their home in Spain.
There are memories all around. The wooden lectern on which there used to be a copy of The Star or seat plans is for sale at £45.
Pauline Baldwin is in the office for very possibly the last time and in reflective mood. She’d expected a rush but perhaps people will be coming later. Will she be sad now it’s all over – some 37 years of company and works’ dinners, social shindigs, Christmas parties, lunches, pop up restaurant nights and private parties? “I won’t miss the admin but I’ll be like a fish out of water,” she says.
The new venture belongs to Jamie and Steve, who will take with them head waitress Angela Jackson, but doubtless the Baldwins will still be around to offer advice.
Indeed Mr B plans to take a seat at the bar at the new place. I look forwards to seeing him there.
*The sale runs until this Sunday.
NOTE: To read why it closed see here