The Colonnade where The Volks is located was built approximately 100 years ago when the nearby Aquarium extended its sun terrace above. The venue’s had a few names over the years including The Chain Pier Bar, as it is situated directly below where the old chain pier used to be. It’s currently named after the inventor of the first electric railway in this country, Magnus Volk.
A local entrepreneur, Mr Volk built the railway on the beach opposite where the venue is now and ran the business, driving the trains himself on occasions, for many years. The trains still run during the summer and as we have the same name as the railway, people often wander across the road to ask us what time the trains run…..and in case you’re wondering, we don’t know!! Although this is sometimes annoying, we didn’t change the name when we took over, especially when we found out ‘Volks’ also means ‘for the people’ in German. This sits perfectly with what the Volks is all about; a place for anyone and everyone, a venue of variation of customers, musical styles, events and staff. The venue was called the Volks Tavern (and still is called this by many ), but we dropped the ‘tavern’ bit a while back as the modern day Volks evolved into what it is now, and you’d understand where we’re coming from if you’ve ever witnessed the place at 5am on a Saturday morning……not quite your cosy little village tavern.
Madeira Drive (the road we’re on!) hosts many events throughout the year including the finish line for the annual London to Brighton Bike Ride, The famous Ace Cafe Reunion and other motorcycle events including The Brightona and The Pioneer motorcycles run, the Speed Trials, loads of car runs (Minis owners/ VW campers / MG’s / Historic Commercial Vehicles, Veteran car run), the start of the Brighton Pride parade, the Brighton marathon plus loads more. Fat Boy Slim’s beach Boutique and The Radio 1 Dance Party have also been hosted on Madeira Drive. Always something going on down here!!