View from the front of the DJ booth

View of Brooklyn's main room from the front.

Never in the history of my RnB clubbing career for 4 short years have I been bombarded with promotional material for the Grand Opening of this night. Facebook, email, posters, more facebook, more email, more posters. You would expect them to do door knocking as well. The previous event at V-Bar had finally closed and the promoters, Urban Agent, have had success on their 40/40 Saturday Nights at Brooklyn – “why not do a Friday one as well?” They think. It’s an ambitious launch, to replicate the experience of a Shanghai nightclub with waitresses and limo service to the venue from a pick up spot at world square. A friend wants to check it out, so a guestlist was organised, and I was keen to see how Brooklyn has changed since the new promoters took over. So here we go!

Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel Sydney

Assessment Time: 10:30 – 3:00am
Website: http://www.urbanagent.com.au
Address: Cnr George and Grovenor Street, Sydney
Dress Code / Door Policy: Dress code applies. Collared shirt for guys. However casual would have gotten away with it tonight.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 Guestlist: Well well well.. this is a special point. One can usually send in a guestlist and get a $5 discount or more. Tonight, as we enter the club, the flat fee was $25, and ALL GUESTLISTS WERE CANCELLED. What the fuck! It was only 10:30. Well, apparently they were allowed to do it, because there were so many fucking people outside. They could have charged $30 or $40 and people would still have probably paid up. Total fucking rort.
Inside: A main bar dance area to hold 100 or so people with DJ elevated a metre or so above the floor. Central circular bar. Second bar at the back to primarily serve the back outdoor courtyard. The courtyard holds 2 or 300 people. A second DJ resides here as well.
Cloak Room: I can’t remember, but it was a reasonable price – $4 or something for an item.
Bar: I did not drink tonight, but they had $3.50 for shot based drinks until midnight. Much more reasonable than $17 vodka red bulls the last time I was here.
DJ: Unknown Music: RnB inside the main room. Mixed as a professional does – choruses only to keep the crowd going with the occasional commercial house song thrown in.
Crowd: Mostly if not all asian. The occasional white person and indian clubber were also represented tonight.
Entertainment: MC for the main room at night. Promoters giving out lanyards the entire night like hotcakes, I suspect it was because the lanyards had the old V-Bar “Amber” event printed on them, rendering these lanyards throwaway material. By the end of the night everybody including myself had two of these things. Head promoter is throwing out free T-shirts out to the crowd. Nice. There is also a free shuttle service from world square to Brooklyn, if you book ahead, but why World Square? My suspicion is partly to show all the people lining up ouside of Flow: “Hey, you guys going to Flow, do you get a stretch hummer? nope. we rule and you drool”. That is my conspiracy theory. (Promoters have since dropped the Stretch Hummer promotion). Later around midnight, a dancing chinese dragon came in, which had blinking lights and everything. That was pretty impressive, even though Chinese New Year was last month. Also being the grand opening night, confetti is sprayed everywhere amongst the crowd. It’s hard to not like and hate this place at the same time. To top it off, there’s also a BBQ out in the back. They’ve gone all out here.
Atmosphere: Packed like sardines inside, smokey in the back outside area. Inside the vibe was good, but still too packed for my liking. Keep reading for more details on my thoughts on this whole setup

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom BBQ

Review & Timeline
Superlong line but we get in.
As with massively promoted nights with a zillion birthdays being held, you should expect really long lines. Tonight was no exception, with the separate guestlist and normal line stretching out for ages. It was only 10:30 and we knew the general line, at least, was a 80 minute or so wait. This kind of waiting really turns people off. LUCKILY, a friend knows the promoter, and within about 5 minutes the entire group is let inside. Woot! But seriously, for the uninitated clubber, they do think being on the guestlist means getting express entry and not waiting outside for 30 minutes to get in. Well, that’s what I used to think. Where is the justice?

The line outside Brooklyn Hotel for Shanghai Nights. The wait is about 1 hour.

At around 1am, I look out and people are still lining up to get inside. They have no chance – the place is packed, and I feel a tinge of sadness for them, as I once was in their position. Then I laugh to myself and keep dancing.

Check out the poor souls lining outside

The poor souls outside have a look inside to see how much fun we are having.

 

Overpromising on the “4 massive arenas”
Such is the description given for each of brooklyn’s areas in the promotional poster. Jesus I nearly choked reading the flyer. Brooklyn really only has 2 dance areas, a small table area and a even smaller bar second bar area. These are the 4 arenas?? To describe these as 4 massive arenas can give the unsuspecting clubber the impression .. of 4 massive arenas to dance in. How many first timers to Brooklyn would have been disappointed with the setup, if they managed to get into the club? If any place should be close to “arena like” it would be Home or Tank Nightclubs, not Brooklyn.

The outdoor area is a disappointment
Alas, the largest area of Brooklyn is the outdoor area, and that was pretty crap. It was just a smokers paradise there, and the DJ assigned here had the unfortunate destiny to have his speakers set to 1 out of 10. I could have placed my mobile phone on loudspeaker and it wouldve gotten more people dancing. The volume was seriously that low. At least people could talk out here, but I did not go to the outdoor area to talk. I WANTED DANCE!

 

I miss the old dead Brooklyn.
The place now is packed, which is good to see, but at what cost? Regulars driven out, and cover charge smacked on. No doubt the night was declared a success by the promoters, with photos to prove – it was a success for the promoters but what about the punter? I have been massively disappointed with tonight in terms of the atmosphere, which I believe is a big part of the whole clubbing experience.

Table service
In the real city of Shanghai, small groups can get a private booth and be served by a dedicated waitress/hostess the entire night to bring drinks, games etc. Tonight was an attempt to replicate this, and it has unfortunately failed muchly. By about midnight everybody is standing up, and the bar is right next to the tables. The waitresses are redundant, and speaking of them, I only saw a handful of them tonight. It was advertised as 50 (now its 30) of the waitresses hanging out and about, so where were they? Did I seriously miss them?

With one of the VIP waitresses

I found a VIP Waitress!

 

Bowtie!
Lately I’ve been donning a bowtie, its awesome. I saw another guy and took a photo, but he wasn’t as enthusiastic seeing another guy with a bow tie. Maybe if I was a chick he would have been more happy in this photo:

Dude doesn't look happy to be with me wearing a bowtie

Dude doesn't look happy to be with me wearing a bowtie

 

Arrivederci
Friends ditched me and so I eventually left.

Recommendation
Utterly disappointed. It’s not worth it. I hope the promoters will readjust what they promise in this night as well as acknowledge the existence of guestlists. With reports of 2000 to 4000 people in attendance the following week, they can surely use the excess money to improve the place somehow.

Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel – 4/10

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2 Responses to Shanghai Nights (Grand Opening) @ Brooklyn Hotel: Friday 26th February 2010

  1. […] decided to hold it at Brooklyn Hotel for the Shanghai Nights event. . I don’t want to go, as last time was mediocre for me, but I must keep up appearances, plus it will give this place another chance […]

  2. unknown says:

    PLEASE BE AWARE GENTLEMAN OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    For those man that are first time in Shanghai that trying to look for hooker or women, i strongly advise you not to do that especially near the street any man or women approach for hooker or women or to any pub with GRO end up the bill will be RMB10000 to RMB20000, please beware because I am 1 of the victim, they will not let you go until you settle the bill. Unless you are ready to pay RMB10000 to RMB20000 or more

    PLEASE SHARE IT TO ANYONE YOU KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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