Always wanted to come here but I’ve always had something on Friday morning, until now..

Upstairs Qbar | Main Room (12:15AM)

Upstairs | Room 34B (12:15AM)

“Hot Damn!” at The Exchange Hotel  [Q Bar (Upstairs)]

The Hot Damn! event is nestled within the complex that is The Exchange Hotel and is split over two areas of the Hotel – Q Bar and Spectrum. Spectrum hosts live bands up until midnight, while Q Bar, a few shops down, hosts DJs that play various styles of music, all night. Tonight’s review is solely based on Q Bar.

Opening Hours: Unknown – 5:00AM
Address: 44 Oxford St, Sydney. (Q Bar). It’s just a small doorway from the outside, can be easy to miss. 
Parking: Easy to find closeby parking on a Thursday night. We found a small car spot on the street behind. 
Venue Website:
Event Website:
Occurrence: Every Thursday since late 2006
Dress Code / Door Policy: there is no strict policy. People in costumes, singlets, shorts, hats.. anything that a classy club would ban is allowed here, even hairstyles that make you look like a member of One Direction.  Tonight’s theme was End of Semester, so many collared shirts and ties were to be displayed. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20, but if you know one of the promoters names or send a guestlist you get in for $15. 
Cloak Room: $3 all items. So good.

Assessment Time: 12:05AM – 3:10AM

Outside Line: 
No line upon entering. I always worry when there is no line and there are a stream of people walking out.

After paying entry you walk down a narrow passage way and up some stairs. I was wondering how small this place would be, but it actually covers quite a large floor space. There are two sets of music playing:

1.  QBar Area. 
This place is separated into two rooms by a bar and a wall. The music is common in both areas. The main room has the DJ and a small fenced off (literally) area for a small group of 20 or so people to dance, with sofas around the inside of the fence. There is a bar with 3 or 4 staff and a pool area at the back with 4 or 5 tables.

The second QBar area plays the music from the first room, but the room seems more to facilitate dancing. Lounges on the left, bar to the right with the middle dancefloor to cover 40-5o people with a small podium for three included. Both areas are very lounge-centric to which many many young couples take advantage. There is also carpeted areas as well just to add to the atmosphere.

2. Room 34B
This is the third room at the far end from the entrance. Bar on the right, DJ on the far wall, dancefloor to have 80ish people, and an elevated stage that could hold a proper band but in the case of tonight, also 40-50 people. There is also a smoking area on the left of the stage – you can smell the smoke permeate throughout half the room – it’s quite strong.

Bar Prices / Line: 
There is a bar in each of the three rooms. At most there would be 2 orders in front of you, but most of the time you would only have to wait for one order before it was your turn.  Beer, House Spirits: $5 all night. Tonight’s special was Hatorade (Gatorade + Vodka) for $5.  A can of Smirnoff black was $8. Overall ridiculously cheap for a bar if not one of the best special offers ever.

Bathroom Facilities: 
Atrocious. Cups on the floor, broken taps, graffiti on the walls. It wasn’t surprising – I think the event prides itself in being not classy at all.

DJs: Resident DJ’s

Music Style: 
QBar: Party-Top 40 / Hip Hop and RnB / Dance. It’s an odd mix but the DJ mixes well between tracks. 
34B: Punk / Party (Top 40) / Hardcore (Rock). 80% was rock and the rest a mix of Party tunes and dance tunes. Some great classic tunes played here. Haven’t heart this kind of music mix since I was at the “Trash” event when it was at Agincourt Hotel (way back ago). Most good tracks are played in their entirety.

Young, caucasian crowd. pretty much anybody who didn’t have work (or did have work) on a Friday morning – uni students and backpackers. There are also a handful of gay and lesbians. Quite friendly overall as well.

Throughout the entire night it was a pretty even ratio 50:50

Clothing brand Vatic were giving away apparel.

Quite  a number of people in all rooms during the majority of the night. Upon entry of the venue you are greeted with a strong increase in temperature, and you would be sweating within a few minutes. The only air conditioning we found was in the QBar, from a 20cm hole in the ceiling. Seriously. There were fans as well but only one was spinning. The rest of the fans were not working or had their arms broken off.

Q Bar Room 2 (12:50AM)

Q Bar Room 2 (12:50AM)

People are drinking, lots more are making out, and a friend even saw a security guard with a beer in his hand. The place is hot, smelly, and just quite dirty in general while still holding it all together. Also for today’s theme of End of Semester, the entire Q Bar area has been TP’d – dedication.

Both areas had an equal split of people while later in the evening (around 2AM), the QBar area died down considerably while Room 34B continued to party on full of people in a dark room. You will leave room 34B sweaty and smelling like cigarettes, while QBar will only give you a sweaty dirty feeling.

People in general are quite friendly and happy to talk to you, and feel free to take off your shirt if you are a bit hot, really.

Video: Clips taken through the night
YouTube Preview Image

My own night
– Had a bit of a dance with lesbians. They are fun.

– Tried to hula hoop but the hula hoop was more like a hula-not-really-in-the-shape-of-a-hoop:

Friend goes for the hula hoop. It's already mangled up as it is.

Friend goes for the hula-not-really-in-the-shape-of-a-hoop

– Here is a photo girl who was looking for her shoe. If you have seen her other shoe, let someone know. (Not me)

This girl was looking for her other shoe

Upon Departure
The heat and tiredness from dancing got to us. We left at 3:10AM, Room 34B was going off still while Q Bar was only one room left (Room 2 was closed).

 Final Thoughts & Recommendation

Once you get used to the sweat dripping down all over your clothes and soaking into your underpants, you really do start to enjoy the night. With the cheap drinks, good tunes, friendly crowd it is all a bonus. Would advise to wear only casual clothes for reasons listed above.

If you don’t like the idea of mixing it up in a crowd of random young people headbanging to some heavy rock or some rnb/party tunes, then probably don’t go here. Especially if you don’t want to lose one of your shoes. Overall, well worth it for a dirty Thursday night offering that is kind of near the CBD; A refreshing change for people who are used to suiting up.

Hot Damn! @ The Exchange Hotel (Q Bar): 8.0/10

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