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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

OREGUN gets new wave of nightlife, as 'big boys' take over *and role played by Lanre Gentry and wife (Nollywood's Mercy Aigbe)

Lanre Gentry and wife Mercy Aigbe-Gentry

By Paul Ukpabio

Once upon a time, Oregun a town in the heart of Ikeja used to be a quiet place, only offering an access road that leads to the big fun spots at Opebi, Allen Avenue, and Adeniyi Jones all in Ikeja area of Lagos. 

At that time, the entire Oregun area was best known for its production companies, factories, warehouses, building block factories and residential homes. Today, all these features still exist in Alausa-Oregun community, but with reduced presence as some of the warehouses have been taken over by church auditoriums and event venues.

According to Wasiu Ogedengbe who said
that he has been living in Oregun for over twenty years, it is the arrival and explosion of event centres in the Oregun area that eventually changed the reputation of the area into one of the biggest entertainment fun spots in the entire Ikeja axis. 

Though Uche Okafor who runs one of the popular road side joints in Oregun, insist that it is the explosion of the population of the residents in the area, the establishment of modern hotels and guest houses and the building of new estates along the Oregun-Ojota corridors that has changed the face and status of Oregun. 

Though Alhaja maimunat Lawal, a provision seller who lives in Oregun and who claims to be an indigene of Oregunwa community maintain that, it is rather, the construction of the Oregun road leading to Ojota by ex Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos state, while he was in office, that opened up Oregun and caused the explosion of the population and the arrival of the fun spots in the area, as we now see it today.

Whichever opinion we chose to accept, the fact remains that today, the entire vicinity of Oregun, has been hit by a new wave of healthy nightlife that is so attractive and drags out the city’s big boys to party and have fun weekdays and weekends.

And they come out in droves in the evenings. During a visit to Oregun, there was much to see, an allure of strings of open and closed bars and lounge on the major roadsides of Oregun and in street corners around the area. Choice, posh cars were parked around the area with the owners cooling off in posh lounges sipping wine with their company for the night and listening to loud music and watching football on wide television screens simultaneously.   

Here wine is easily available and easily afforded even on street corners and open bars that litter the major road and street corners, spirits are also available and affordable. 

While the open bars hold sway for all comers, the big boys drink, eat and dance in class. At Fisher Lounge for instance, it is not unusual to see young executives and business people downing many bottles of wine and spirit all in one night out.  A bottle of wine going for N4.500 even during this period of fuel scarcity and financial woes, the party continues as the drink flows into the last hours of the day.

Other patronised places around Oregun area by the big boys and their partners for the night are, Esado hotel and Havana club. In these two places, the environment tells much about the likely amount of money that will be spent there. Moet for instance goes for between N8000 and N10,000. And it is served in chilling ice!

But if Oregun has presently taken the shine as the newest hot spot for fun in the Ikeja axis, then La Veronique has played a big role to make that status to be. La Veronique is a de luxe class hotel on Oregunwa Street owned by Lanre Gentry, the amiable husband of Nollywood’s Mercy Aigbe-Gentry.

Youthful and sociable, Lanre Gentry has taken charge of the fun pace of Oregun, with the city's big boys and big girls drinking at his La Veronique bar and nite clubbing into the wee hours of the morning on weekends.

Most weekend evenings here, it is a festival of choice posh rides littering the entire neighbourhood, with top class company of the city's professionals who come out to catch fun and share good company, along with their adoring, pretty female companions.

Most evening roll calls include top business men and politicians, who dress down for the evenings outing, while the ladies dress to the nines.

When asked why his hotel, bar and club has turned a mecca of sort in the Oregun vicinity, Lanre Gentry simply laughed and reply, "don't forget that I am a socialite, APC is my party, so much socialite and politicians from all the parties come here to relax and have a good evening outing with their own class of elite."

Here we have life band on weekends which appeal to the elite who also like the luxurious taste of the hotel's setting. Also, I must not forget to mention my wife who has been very supportive. Apart from God, my wife has been everything to me. She has been part and parcel of this place.

True to his words, some of the patronisers spoken to on the spot, acknowledged that Mercy Aigbe-Gentry, the popular face on Nigerian movies has also had her fair share of publicising the hotel and attracting the socialite and elites to the club and area. This is because, the beautiful actress shoots most of her films in the hotel, taking advantage of the tasteful props that it lents to movies. That is it is not uncommon to find Nollywood actors gathering in the hotel most times.      

Lanre Gentry said he is running with the success, as he presently set to open a similar place in Wuse the heart of Abuja before the year runs out. He says he wants Abuja to feel the classy fun that it is presently enjoyed at Oregun, lagos.

1 comment:

  1. Wao. Oregun of all places in those days finally gets a new wave of nightlife. You see, behind every successful man, there is a woman.


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