Saturday night. Dinner – completed. Dancing is on the cards. I am surrounded by Asians who love rnb. The latest hot spot is, surprisingly, Verandah Bar. Rave reviews all around. I tried to come in here last week at 1:00AM but the line wait was about 30 minutes. anyway, tonight the night was still young, so here we go!

Posing during the podium tryouts - Verandah Bar

Posing during the podium tryouts - Verandah Bar

Vanity @ Verandah Bar
Assessment Time: 11:15PM – 02:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (Assumed 10:00PM) – Unknown (Probably 4:00AM as last time I was at Bamboo, around the corner, they closed at the same time)
Lockout: I can’t remember if the security guard said 01:00AM or 01:30AM. It was definitely one of those times, but my gut is telling me 1:30AM. I’m not very helpful so far with the timing thing, am I.
Address: 60 Castlereagh St, Sydney. http://www.verandah.com.au
Occurence: Every Saturday Night
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart is encouraged. It is more smart casual as well as casual. I think most people were let in regardless of what they were wearing. Boys and wore a mix of casual/smart casual (mostly collared shirts), girls probably were also casual as well. It must be winter.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 standard cover charge. $20 on the guestlist before midnight.  You need to line up on the gustlist line in order to qualify for guestlist entry. There is a separate full-price guestlist line on the other side of the entrance, which we used. There was nobody in the full price line when we arrived. More on this later.
Guestlist: Free before 10:30PM, $20 until Midnight. Send in via the promoter websites above or to info@eso.net.au.
Inside: I was told it was refurbished (again), but it hasn’t changed since their last refurbishment. After paying your cover charge, you walk down a red carpet to the indoor entrance to the club where you are scanned by security. Walk inside to the first area, which is split by two columns forming an invisible line between the main dancefloor to hold 150-200 people (right) and the walkway (left). You can dance here as well. Walk through to the second area where the bar is and lounges and a small smoking balcony out back.
Bar Prices: I didn’t buy any drinks tonight
Cloak Room: To the right as you walk in. Pricing unknown.
Music Style: Primarily RnB tonight. We were only here for 3 hours, but there were some popular rnb songs which were played THREE TIMES over, and most others TWICE! you notice, and it annoys you, but you arent sick of these songs yet so you dance regardless. anyway it was a minor teething point to this place.
Crowd: Mostly Asian. Crowd aged probably in their low 20s. Though here I found 4 people with braces. Perhaps teenagers come here as well but are a bit more mature than ones found at Funky @ Sanctuary Hotel.
Entertainment: So there are 6 or 7 podiums in the dancefloor itself, which is insane. It looks like the norm now, its just missing a dancing pole to be exactly like bamboo, haha. Tonight was the podium dancer tryouts for a dance crew.
Atmosphere: In the dancefloor area itself, it was consistently busy and pretty lively throughout the night. people are jumping up to dance and they’re singing and what not. Pretty good. In the back area though, it was very subdued – most of the population were at the front area. I avoided this area most of the night. Later on in the night the back area became a mecca for drunk guys and fights. Pretty dangerous. More on this later :>
Eviction Count: I counted 7 separate instances of people being kicked out including 4 Fights.
Video: A Rushed Walkthrough
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Video: 360 view of the dancefloor area
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Verandah Bar Crowd around 11:30PM

Verandah Bar Crowd around 11:30PM

Timeline

The only time I was happy to pay the full price entry
It’s the middle of the night. It’s pretty cold, and the first words that came to my head when I saw the line was “Oh my god”. It was a pretty long line. At least a 45 minute to an hour wait. It was that many people trying to get in. The lines are tapered off by the retractable strap things. I noticed there was another entry point, but it was empty. I had a good feeling this was another line that nobody bothered to ask about. Yes it was confirmed by the security guard, that this empty line was the non-guestlist line. Hurrah!

 

We lined up first in line and we were whisked inside within 5 minutes. I would happily pay the extra $5 to go inside rather than wait outside in the freezing cold. Though, there should be at least signs put up telling the punters that this line was the non-guestlist line. There was no doubt, other non-guestlist people lining up in that massive line, and the back half were going to miss out on the discount action once the clock struck midnight. Poor souls. I am hoping this will be rectified, especially after this review :)

 

No real solid podium dance time
Podiums galore on entry, but nobody was dancing on them. So I jumped up and danced. No more than 5 seconds later another guy jumps up on the other podium and does some pretty whack moves. Then a girl jumps in and pulls off some sick moves as well. Totally dominated. I keep doing my simple dancing. Later I found out that their whole group was here for a dance podium tryout session. Just like the cheerleading ones, but they’re all good dancers.

 

So being tryouts, every time the crowd packs the podium, we normal folk are kicked off  and are forced to watch these better dancers, dance it off for a right to be a podium dancer. Eventually the crowd are subconsciously no longer going up on the podiums anymore – we’ll be kicked off anyway, so for the rest of the night the podiums were pretty bare. Regardless, during these tryouts there was lots of popping, locking from the guys. Standard fanfare from the girls – hair whooshing in the air, and what not. Here’s a video:
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Fights!
Watching a fight unfold is scary yet you want to see one happening. It’s a fine line.
Preceeding the fights, I spotted many folk being escorted out for being drunk. This was a bad sign for the fights ahead:

 

Drunk dude is kicked out

Drunk dude is kicked out

Fight 1:

A catfight! I only catch a glimpse of the girls being dragged out by security, yelling and screaming from near the cloak room area.

 

Fight 2:
Security are bolting to go outside where a fight has broken.

 

Fight 3:
This is the big earthquake fight. We are at the back dancing near the lounges. Suddenly security are running towards us and push us away. Theres a fight right behind us! Girls are screaming, and security are screaming to get out of the way. I turn around, and theres a good 7-10 guys in this brawl. Suddenly to top it off, one of the small single sofa chairs has managed to be picked up and be thrown right into the middle of the fight..A FREAKING SOFA CHAIR. Can’t remember a fight this violent in years. It’s no wonder stools are always packed away for a club night.

 

Everyone is just staring as the fight takes an extraordinarily long time to break up. another friend got caught up and almost got kicked out. Amazing. Meanwhile on the dancefloor area, some people can see there was a fight, but most are unaware of the severity of the situation unfolding metres away. One of the girls I’ve come with tonight has fallen over and I see her get trampled over by a girl and a security guard. Jesus christ! I quickly got her up but she was shaken for the rest of the night. Finally the main culprits are removed. At least now there were some seats to sit down on.

 

another female friend is too scared to stay and leaves.

 

Fight 4:
This was the aftershock of the earthquake that was Fight 3. Friends of the fight participants continue to argue and yet another fight breaks out, and security who were conveniently omnipresent, quickly took them outside to never return. Cheap ass asian drunks.

 

Arrivederci
After the 3rd fight, I am getting quite nervous for my own safety at this point in time, and we all make the decision to leave. Besides this, a friend was outside and couldn’t come back in due to lockout which hastened the decision.

 

Recommendation
I may have run into it on an off night in regards to fighting, but what an off night it was. Long slow guestlist lines and fighting are bad. The sober crowd was pretty friendly I found. it is a shame that the guys in here (and the girls in the cat fight) got too much alcohol in their system. A good night ruined.

 

Vanity @ Verandah Bar: 7th August 2010 – 3/10
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8 Responses to Vanity @ Verandah Bar: Saturday 7th August 2010

  1. dr_stoopid says:

    Actually there was another fight we witnessed that would equal this one except we weren’t as close to the action that time. Outside Mr B’s Hotel when we were walking past, I saw a steel bar stool get thrown into the window and security was crawling all over gangsters at the front like ants on a carcass.

    Still, that air borne sofa at Verandah nearly crushed my freaking skull!

  2. Mz_Bunni3 says:

    Oh wow, I was there that same night! My friend has a massive bruise on her chest from it =[
    I heard the new verandah bar started letting in underages and rougher crowds but this is ridiculous. I guess our friends are staying clear of verandah for a while..

    • James says:

      The old crowd when Funky was on was more rough IMO, but that’s pretty bad to hear about your friend as well! We all just want safe, fun nights out.

      I actually have to go to Verandah again this Saturday 21st Aug. FML! hope its better.

  3. Mz_Bunni3 says:

    Nah, old verandah crowd was better, but alot more strict i guess. You couldn’t even get in with a hoodie shirt or ratty so gaaay. I think the bunch that were never allowed in finally made it lol

    • James says:

      hahaha you got a valid point there. I forgot about the rattie policy. I remember they relaxed it after complaints but it was only for a short while before they moved to Sanctuary.

  4. […] a welcome back party at Verandah. Yeah ok, lets give this place a second chance after the horrible last time I was here. I organised a VIP area and guestlist and we were set – here we […]

  5. organiser says:

    Hey James thanks for the review, we dont get fights @ verandah bar as often as you think, that night was actually one of the very first one we had since grand openign in June. if an argument/fight broke out, we have an adequate & experienced security team (with radio head piece for quicker response) to deal with the situation and kick out all that were involved.

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