Sort file:- Maidstone, March, 2021.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


6 May 2017

Zee Bar

Closed Dec 2017

60-61 High Street


Zee Bar 2017

Above photo, 2017.


Previously the "Chicago Rock Cafe" that had closed for four years, the "Zee Bar" opened as more a nightclub offering music and dance than a traditional pub on the 6th May 2017, I believe it closed at the end of the same year.

At the end of 2018 it was promised to be reopened with the new name and theme of the "Prison Island Escape," where teams of up to four players try to solve puzzles in 25 rooms or cells similar to the Crystal Maze. Not functioning as a pub though.


From the By William Janes, 12 December 2018.

Prison Island escape room to open at former Maidstone Zee Bar nightclub.

People will find themselves behind bars, not queuing at them, when a former Maidstone nightclub reopens as a prison-themed escape room next month.

Brothers Mike and Chris Knell are putting the finishing touches on the experience, which challenges players to complete as many trials as they can in an hour.

Prison Island will replace Zee Bar in Maidstone High Street, which closed earlier this year having been open for just a year.

Zee Bar 2018

The new escape room, Prison Island, is to open at the site of the Zee Bar in Maidstone

It was formerly Chicago Rock Café.

The game will be the first UK branch of a Swedish franchise which has 24 locations across Scandinavia, Belgium, The Netherlands and Spain.

The pair decided to strike out into the fast-growing escape room industry two-and-a-half years ago after leaving jobs caring for disabled children.

“It all started because we visited one ourselves. We just loved it and the rest is history,” said Mike, 33.

The new venture will comprise 25 cells, each filled with a different puzzle or physical challenge for teams of up to four people to complete.

Inspired by TV game shows such as The Crystal Maze and Fort Boyard, upon which Prison Island is loosely based, escape rooms have exploded in popularity since the first one opened in Japan little more than a decade ago.

Mike & Chris Kneww

Mike Knell, left, and his brother Chris are about to launch Prison Island escape room in Maidstone High Street.

According to industry blog, The Logic Escapes Me, as of August this year there were 415 venues in the UK offering a choice of 1,139 themed rooms, a 42% rise in just 12 months.

The County Town is already home to two others - Escape Hub in Royal Star Arcade, where players can choose between battling to retrieve a stolen diamond or breaking free from a kidnapping, and The Room in Lower Stone Street, where contestants have to get away from a mad scientist.

Despite not being the first escape room in Maidstone, Mike believes Prison Island will stand out when it opens in January.

“This is a bit different because it’s replayable as teams get scores instead of just a pass or fail,” he said.

Prices start at £60 per team.

To learn more visit




If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-