“ Address: 79-81 Abington St / Northampton / Northamptonshire NN1 2BH / England „
MoMo's is a modern town centre pub, what they call the 'Bar, Kitchen and Club' venue, making money in the day time through pushing food, coffee and ice cream and then packing in the youngsters as the sun goes down to boogie and booze until 3am at the weekends. The days of the mega nightclubs are over in provincial towns because of the smoking ban and high beer tax so we see increasing number of these trendy late night bars with a small dance floor. The girls like to drink cocktails and chasers these days for celebrity cool in faux VIP areas and the boys more than happy to have a bottled beer and leer so perfect venues for that. Whisper it quietly but I think British women drink more than their male counterparts now. The days of macho male drinking have slowed and girls would rather park themselves on table with a bottle of nice wine or champagne with friends than worry about guys fancying the boys. That interaction seems to have all but disappeared and the way to a girl's heart now is to get her drunk with an ice bucket and cocktail, all ready to throw up in if they drink like Northampton girls.
MoMo's summer gimmick to get the punters in is its Shisha beer garden on the top deck, a cozy area of Egyptian like Bedouin surrounds and Buddha statues to sit and smoke cooled bubbled tobacco through those Hookah pipe things. The seating area hints at the VIP zone and the young girls pack in there dreaming they are Rhianna and Jay Lo chilling in a cool LA night spot. But a quick look up and the Northampton Welfare Office peers down at them, reality looming large. It's different though and beats the traditional young people's beer garden full of noisy working - class kids dressed as the cast of TOWIE and the girls tumbling out of their heels to reveal all manner of tattoos. When you get more mature you just don't need that anymore.
The bar is situated at the top of Abington Street, the main town centre drag and the beer not cheap. In the summer they open up the front section that looks on to the street and you can sit on silver round tables on high stools to watch the punch ups day and night on the high street, good sport. It's a have one drink and move on type of place for most at night, especially for people my age as its very much 18-30. The occasional cheesy hen night party strays in with their unoriginal 'L' Signs and condoms on their fairy tut tu's but soon move on as they see its pose pub. I'm still pretty confident in a young peoples bar and tag along with the group of friends I'm with for their choices. I'm not going to smoke those pipes though.
As I say it isn't cheap and very much town centre trendy bar prices. The bouncers don't really exercise age, race or social class profiling - young or mature - although do check IDs. We know some bars do ban black males in Northampton but this is not one of them thankfully. In fact the heavies are surprisingly courteous in Northampton. Since a big fire on Bridge Street where all the young kids go that took out two of the towns busiest bars the young ones have moved back into the central bar area and so bouncers under more pressure. What I have found though is people go out much later now and get loaded at home, nothing really getting going until 11pm, very much the European bar scene Blair was after with his 24 hour drinking plan. I have also noted that the hotter the weekend evenings the less people out, couples and groups of lads doing other things as money is tight with so many kids now having to pay for university or being unemployed. In fact it's that shrinking university class that has been missing of late, Northampton University losing 20% of its numbers as social degrees disappear. No one is going to pay thirty grand to do American studies any more! Rather boldly, Northampton University claims a 96% employment rate after graduation, the highest in the country! Well the town is full of call-centre's and fast food outlets. They have cool stand up comic's events on in the week to target students but it's a mostly weekend venue
Mo Mo's gets going on the dance floor by 10-30pm and the music is loud and pop orientated. But we are talking a postage stamp here so not a club as such. There is a quieter indoor area upstairs to chill but rarely busy as that music thumps in there too. I would definitely say Mo Mo's has the smallest men's toilets in the town centre and only room for four guys in there for the two stalls and one pan. I'm sure the girls have better and more space for big mirrors because, as every guy knows, female toilets are always nicer, equality indeed. Because it's a smallish venue for dancing they don't have those wash and brush up black guys in those toilets, which always make me feel extremely uncomfortable, for them and me. That sort of thing belongs in 1960s Alabama and I feel embarrassed by it.