A CITY restaurant which suddenly shut down, leaving customers’ wedding and party plans in tatters, has reopened under two new directors.

Club 129 in High Street, Southampton, has been launched in the landmark building of former restaurant NV.

Last month the Daily Echo reported how furious customers had their wedding receptions and party plans derailed after paying deposits for their special occasions at NV. Distraught former boss Jean Leake even vowed to pay them back in an emotional interview.

But new owners Ricky Burrell and John Bellamy hope their new members-only club will be a hit with city partygoers.

After spending weeks refurbishing the building, as well as dealing with dozens of calls from angry former customers, Ricky and John finally opened the doors for a launch party on Saturday.

Former Totton and Eling Cricket Club chairman John, who previously ran The Crown Stirrup, in Lyndhurst, said: “It was an eye-opener when we moved in. We had no idea what was going on and it was a huge, huge surprise to us the amount of people who had paid deposits calling in and leaving messages on the answerphone.

“Opening up finally is what we have been waiting for and it was a fantastic night. About 250 people came through the doors, mostly in their late 20s and older, which is the market we are aiming for, and the atmosphere was really amazing. They all had very positive comments about the new decor.”

The members’ club, bar and restaurant will have drinks, dining and dancing seven days a week, offering everything from coffees to large charity functions.

John met Ricky when he swam competitively for Southampton and England. Ricky captained the England swimming team and won a silver medal in the Olympic Games in the 1980s.

Ricky added: “We now have the venue and are more than willing to discuss arrangements with anyone let down.”

Club 129 is open seven days a week, Monday to Thursday from midday to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from midday to 2am and Sunday midday to 6pm.