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Nude Surfers gather in London ‘cyberlounge’

Gay, transgender theme nights too

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Friday is butt-naked night at Nutopia, a screamingly trendy new "cyberlounge" in London's Covent Garden. The company says it will run nude surfer theme nights every Friday "until Westminster closes us down". The Wibbly Wobbly Web indeed. Nutopia also plans to run theme nights for lesbian and transsexuals (with the latter getting the run of the place on Dragnet evenings). It is also reaching out to the dance crowd, offering a chill-out space/juice bar for clubbers between 3am and 7am each evening. And it is offering a 21st Century version of the phone bar, with Webcams attached to each monitor. If you see someone at the other end of the lounge who takes your fancy, you can fire off a chat-up email. "It's a whole new era of cruising," says director Grant Mitchell (no relation to EastEnders' Grant Mitchell, who is, at any rate, a fictional character). No, we're not making this up. And neither is the Evening Standard, where we lifted the quotes from. Speaking to The Register, Mitchell said the nude surf nights were "not sleazy. There's a lot of honest naturists out there who need Internet training." Go wild in the conceptual country Based in Shelton Street, WC2, Nutopia is a cybercaff dressed up for the Wallpaper generation. The venue features Phillipe Starck (as in Starck bollock-naked) chairs, two big fish tanks and 40 Apple flat-screen monitors. Here's some blurb from the Web site: "Challenging the imagination of its competitors with interiors that steal from Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001, NUTOPIA aims to provide London with a space where technology meets creativity in an environment designed to appeal to the style conscious." And here's some more: "The inspiration behind NUTOPIA originates from a statement made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1973... 'We announce the birth of a conceptual country, NUTOPIA. It has no land, boundaries or passports, only people...' "This statement, made back in 73, encapsulates today's Internet phenomenon." More prosaically, Nutopia offers training, video conferencing, and Web hosting and design services. We guess the Nude Surfer evenings won't last long -- this has nothing to do with Westminster Council and everything to do with an inspired but short shelf-life PR launch stunt. However, there will be at least one more nude surfing night -- on March 10. It costs a fiver to get in, and you must be topless. After that, it is up to you where you draw the clothes-off line. ® Related Story Nude Overclockers take Web by storm

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