An interview with Max Makrinakis

Max Makrinakis


Tyke. Where did you work prior to joining Blue Box and how did you get involved in the industry?
MM. I was working in Leeds and was asked to take over Purple Door which was Leeds first club and part of a large pub/club group. It had opened in 1998 but initially was losing money, I turned into a very profitable club over the next 3 years and as a result was headhunted by Spearmint Rhino to run a club they intended to open in Leeds. In the event they never opened in Leeds and I ended up managing their other clubs in Harrogate and Colnbrook for a while.

Tyke. Where did Blue Box come in ?

MM. A couple of us who knew the industry got together with Stewart Dixon who was a property developer and felt we could do a better job in Leeds so we opened “Blue Leopard” in 2002. It was basically similar to Purple Door in the type of operation but better and was an instant success and profitable from day 1. It’s remained the most successful club in Leeds ever since.

We opened a Blue Leopard in Liverpool in 2003


Tyke. What came next ?

MM. We opened a Blue Leopard in Liverpool in 2003. It was the same format as Leeds and a very nice club but the climate in Liverpool was against it. There all the other clubs offer £5 dances and cheap drinks and the clubs there are basically more downmarket. We converted to “ Rude” to fit into the local market while not devaluing the brand but it’s fair to say that it’s not been as successful as the Leeds clubs. We are going to re-launch it as Blue Leopard this year ready for the “European City of Culture” in 2008 which should bring in lots of visitors who will appreciate the format more.

Tyke. Then there were more Leeds clubs.

MM. Yes, but to a different format. The next was “Red Leopard” in 2005, this is on the Headrow opposite the town hall and is a much larger premises. The idea here was to cater for a larger, younger crowd, who spend less individually so the place needs to be busier to compensate. It’s got sport on TVs, pool tables, and a large stage with regular shows. It’s been very successful to date. Then one of the Director’s {since left} came up with the idea of “ Blue Coyote” which was based on the bar in the film Coyote Ugly featuring girls dancing on the bar but no nudity. This did not work at all, losing money from the start, and so we have recently converted the bar back to lap dancing in a format similar to Red Leopard. It’s early days yet but although the location is not ideal it seems to be working.



Tyke. You have another club due to open.

MM. It’s called “Direktor” quite near to Blue Leopard and it’s due to open on November 2nd . It’s a large place on 2 floors and it will have a lap dancing bar upstairs and a hostess bar called “ Mockba” downstairs. It’s intended to be up market of any of the current clubs in Leeds.

Tyke. That’s 4 clubs in Leeds out of 7, are you not in danger of the clubs competing with each other for custom?
MM. The clubs have all got a different character and target market, we aim to dominate Leeds and we must have over 80% of the current business here. Any new entrant will find it difficult to operate as he will be in direct competition with one or the other of our clubs.

Tyke. What about the rest of the country?

MM. We are keen to expand and have the administrative infrastructure to cope with more clubs. We are currently looking at opening clubs in London, Watford, and Manchester.

Tyke. You recruit girls direct ?

MM. Yes, we have our own agent Ellie who makes the initial contact. In Leeds we have 4 very different formats of club and can find the one that suits a particular girl best.

Tyke. I hear you have an office in Prague, what that for ?

MM. It’s partly to recruit the girls we will need to expand further though we are considering opening a club in Prague at some point.

Tyke. A lot of clubs in Eastern Europe are basically brothels, is that the sort of thing you would open?

MM. No, it would be more like our UK clubs. A lot of people think that men go to lap dancing clubs just for sex but it’s not true it’s really a hospitality product. Even if brothels were legal in the UK I think lap dancing clubs would survive, a lot of men going out just want to look and talk to good looking girls and even in Eastern Europe respectable business people don’t do corporate entertaining in brothels!

Tyke. Any problems with the council or police?

MM. We have been open for years now without causing the police any problems at all and the local licensing people recognise that we cause a fraction of the problems of ordinary clubs. Having such a good record in Leeds should help us get licenses elsewhere.

Like this article? Share it!

Twitter Facebook Linkedin Google+ Pinterest

Author: Saxon is covering the European Striptease industry with monthly updates on or famous London Gossip, Interviews with industry people, articles and news from the world of striptease. We also offer a Striptalk forum, Industry Directory with Stripclubs and Agents and a Job board for the Striptease industry in Europe.