Zen (Grand Opening) @ Ivy Bar Sydney

On March 28, 2013, in Commercial, Ivy Bar, Old School, RnB, by James Tran

Thursday and the beginning of a long weekend, and a new event is on! Looked promising, so rounded up some friends, we got our presold tickets and were ready to go! Check it!

12:40AM. View from the front podium

12:40AM. View from the front podium

ZEN (Grand Opening) @ Ivy Bar, Sydney – Thursday 28th March 2013
In a response to the successful OPM @ Marquee nights by Urban Agent, competing promoters Syndicate (Kinki/Perfect) and Mizuya (Me2/LKF) with a whole subset of smaller promoting companies decided to launch their own equally big event at a big venue named ‘Zen’, down at the large Ivy bar. Ivy bar would be one of the few venues that would be able to hold so many people.

Essentials:
Opening Hours: 8:00PM – 3:00AM

Address: 320-330 George St, Sydney

Venue Website:
http://www.merivale.com.au/ivybar

Event Website: None as of yet. Refer to promoter websites for info.

Promoters: Syndicate Events, Mizuya Ent., Colab Ent.

Occurrence: Tonight was the grand opening. It is unknown whether repeats will happen, but considering the sell out, there will most likely be future repeats of this event. It won’t be every Thursday, but just on special days such as long weekends or when uni students are on holiday.

Dress Code / Door Policy: “Strict Dress Code” applies were the words tonight, but everyone was being let in. I wore dress shoes, black pants, white shirt, vest and skinny tie.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
– $25 first release (super limited)
– $30 second release (which “sold out” two days prior).
– On the night 8PM-9PM the entry fee was $35(?) then after 9PM it goes up  to $40.

This high pricing could only be successfully pulled off at big venues like Ivy and officially sets a new record high for an Asian clubbing event, since Vanity (now closed) charged people $35 to see some dude sing on one particular night. Also considering only one of the Ivy buildings was hired tonight, these guys have made an absolute killing.

Passouts: No passouts before 11:30PM.

Guestlist / Reserved Areas: See promoter websites for details. Reserved VIP areas require min spend of $1500 at the bar.

Cloak Room: Since everyone has paid such a steep price for entry, the cloakroom was free tonight. A saving grace. Though at the end of the night, the line to get your stuff was ridiculously long. Probably 20-30 minutes.

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Hello… New Zealand! Christchurch is where we are tonight, and since the earthquakes of 2010/2011, the entire city nightlife has disappeared. Imagine Sydney’s CBD, Kings Cross, and Darling Harbour decimated and fenced off because of an earthquake. That is the equivalent of what has happened here. The former city is rebuilding, and pretty much if you wanted to go for a dance, you have to make do with DJs playing at local bars or go out in the suburbs. It is quite sad.

Anyway, I asked a foreign backpacker where the place to be is at on a Thursday night. “The Rimming Bull”, he proclaims! I’m sure in proper English that meant “The Running Bull”, which is, coincidentally is across the street from where we rented our hotel. So much win! Let’s check it out!

Crowd 11:30PM

Thursdays @ The Running Bull, Riccarton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Assessment Time: 11:10PM – 12:45AM
Opening Hours: Open during the day as a restaurant / Grill – 12:45AM
Lockout: Unknown, but there was one a lockout at 12:30 when I checked
Address: 1 Riccarton Road, Riccatron, Christchurch City, Canterbury, New Zealand. Map: http://g.co/maps/njtg8
Venue Website: http://www.runningbull.co.nz
Event Website: http://www.facebook.com/TheRunningBullBar
Promoter Website: Self Promoted by the venue
Occurrence: Every Thursday. DJ events also available on Fridays and Saturdays here
Outside Line: 2 people in front but we were in within seconds. We had to use our passports to be accepted entry. The drivers licenses were not accepted. 
Dress Code / Door Policy: Boys are pretty casual, with a handful with collared shirts with jeans. Girls in most part did wear their going out dresses and heels for a dance here. It is encouraged for guys to wear collared shirts and to not smell like B.O, and for girls to wear dresses. (According to the facebook page anyway)
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free all night.
Guestlist: None
Inside: Walk into the bar / dining area where tables and stools are aplenty. Bar is at the back opposite wall. This are has about 4-8 tables. To your left are some lounge spaces for 10 or so people. On the right is the “dance room” is how it is best described. It really is just a walled off room from the rest of the bar, where you can walk in and suddenly you are in a rectangular box to hold maybe 100 or so people where there are lights and a podium.
Cloak Room: None
Bar Prices / Line: Didn’t drink.
Bathroom Facilities: Pretty clean.
Eviction Count: None spotted
DJs: Sole DJ tonight. No song repeats thank god.
Music Style: Mostly Top 40, RnB and probably after 12:15ish the reggae / some other esoteric music was put on. Total mood killer, but it was apparently approaching closing time so that was how it was done.
Crowd: A mix of Christchurch locals and backpackers such as Marty and I, with the Irishman and his friends as well. But definitely a majority would be locals. Ages varied but mostly we are dealing with a young crowd – teenagers, low 20’s.

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WOW @ Martin Place Bar: 20th August 2011

On August 20, 2011, in Martin Place Bar, RnB, by James Tran

We had just left a dress up party, and simply put this was the closest place nearby for a dance… a guestlist was sent a day earlier – here we go!

1AM - Taken from the DJ Podium

1AM - Taken from the DJ Podium

WOW @ Martin Place Bar , Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:10AM – 4:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (Probably 10:00PM) –
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 51 Martin Place
Venue Website: http://www.martinplacebar.com.au
Promoter Website: http://www.urbanagent.com.au http://www.facebook.com/WOWSaturdays http://www.ohsnap.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday since Winter 2011. This replaced the previous “Bamboo” event running for the 6 years prior. It’s run under the same promoters though. At time of writing it appears the “Bamboo” event will make a return under a new venue.
Outside Line: It was quite the long line our late arrival after midnight. We ended up waiting about 25 minutes before we got inside the club. This is typical for a busy event. I would try to get here before 10:30 if you want to have shorter lines – but in return you’re going to get a dead club upon entry.
Dress Code / Door Policy: “Strict” no hat policy was advertised, but it was weakly enforced. I had my hectic punk hair on. Someone else was dressed as a Chef, complete with a Chef’s hat. Most guys and girls were dressed at minimum smart casual and dressy/chic/sexy.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 full entry was paid. Discounted entry before 12:30AM if you sent in a guestlist prior.
Guestlist: wow@ohsnap.com.au I sent a guestlist the day before but there was no confirmation – however it did turn up on the list while people before me entered. Sadly enough when I got to the cashier it was too late. 

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Friends desire a late night wish to visit Scubar tonight – let’s go!

View of the Bar from the Dancefloor - Scubar Sydney

View of the Bar from the Dancefloor - Scubar Sydney

Dropping by: Fridays @ Scubar
Assessment Time: 1:05AM – 2:30AM
Opening Hours: Open through the daytime – 2:30AM
Lockout: None
Address: 4/11-23 Rawson Place, Sydney (near YHA Central)
Venue Website: http://www.scubar.com.au
Promoter Website: Self promoted
Occurrence: This place is pretty much open everyday until late. Most popular nights are Mondays and Tuesdays (apparently)
Outside Line: There isn’t anyone outside lining up upon entry.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual is okay to wear in here, and is normal. Some are even wearing hoodies.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free entry all night
Guestlist: None.
Inside: Walk underground to face the dancefloor to hold around around 60 people. Bar is on the far left, and around the walls and in between are dotted tables and chairs. There are the occasional sofas in dark hidden crevices of the bar. Some disco balls hang down from the ceiling. Standard lightfare is around the place.
Cloak Room: None
Bar Prices / Line: $7 cowboys. There was only really one or two orders in front at a time, and it wasn’t very packed at the bar. You were going to get timely service at the bar.
Eviction Count: None seen, not many are sloshed tonight
Music Style: A Mix of Commercial RnB, Top 40 and past hits from different genres. Typical stuff you would hear at backpacker places – songs played in most of their entirety with minimal transitioning. Regardless we had a good time dancing to the tunes tonight.
Crowd & Ratio: The crowd is almost entirely made up of backpackers, so you have nationalities from all over the place. Ages vary as well. Mostly Caucasian / European backpacking crowd though. Ratio was more men than women, especially at the front. There was about 50 or so altogether including patrons at the bar side. Not many of the girls chose to dance here tonight.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment
Atmosphere: It’s quite dark on the dancefloor side of the venue, while at the bar it is much more lighted up. But back to the floor – at this point in time people are in the mood for love, with various people around making out with strangers that they met that night. Considering past experiences with backpacker nightclubs such as Scary Canary and side Bar, you would expect the floor to be pretty dirty, but suprisingly it’s clean!! I am truly amazed.

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Saturdays @ Sting Bar, Cronulla: 23rd April 2011

On April 23, 2011, in House, Pop, RnB, Rock, Sting Bar, by James Tran

Checking out the nightlife in Cronulla – we’ve just left Northies and our second stop is Sting Bar – here we go!

Saturday @ Sting Bar
Assessment Time: 11:20PM – 12:05AM
Opening Hours: Unknown.
Lockout: Midnight, surprisingly. Security advised that they were under strict RSA regulations. Better safe than sorry. 
Address: 3-7 Kingsway, Cronulla, Sydney  
Venue Website: http://www.sting.com.au
Promoter Website: Self promoted
Occurrence: It is assumed to be open every weekend
Outside Line: No line outside
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats were fine here tonight. It’s a casual affair here as well – lots of guys in their t-shirts/sneaks/jeans combo and girls in whatever simple dress they can find. 3/4 length shorts are allowed here too, so its easy going, but you do want to look reasonably okay here because of the crowd. Tonight we have our blazers and best clothes on .. just in case.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free all night.
Inside: Walk inside to enter the Southern end bar and lounge side of the club. Bar in the middle of the venue with lounges and chairs/stools surrounding South, West and East sides of the bar. West side is more elevated with sets of lounges to hold about 3 or 4 separate small gatherings. On the North end is the dancefloor/DJ end. The dancefloor itself holds perhaps 10 or so people, but there are surrounding carpeted areas and elevated seating areas you could dance upon if need be. The total area now thus holding now 30-40 people. DJ located on the Western wall.
Cloak Room: No cloak room services
Bar Prices / Line: I did purchase but can’t remember the price. There were two staff members working the bar – there was only one order in front of us so the wait wasn’t long.
Eviction Count: None
DJs: DJ Poi (?) and guests
Music Style: It was a bit of a mixed bag here for our time here. You’re dancing to RnB then it switches to House, which is fair enough, but then the next song is ‘Breathe’ by the prodigy – it’s a huge change within 2 songs. There isn’t much mixing going on, with the majority of the song being played each time.
Crowd & Ratio: The first impression upon walking into here is that it is definitely an older crowd tonight. Older being late 20s, 30s and probably some people in their 40s. Everyone else here is of Caucasian descent and it looks like most are probably locals here. The ratio is pretty even here throughout the night.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Atmosphere: On the Southern lounge area it was okay-ish – there are groups mingling but only among themselves. The crowd didn’t seem to pick up enough to foster more intergroup mingling. The entire place is also pretty well lit, so there’s no seedy atmosphere. It is another bar-focused place, but the dance floor is at least of reasonable size. No drinks allowed on the dance floor, so at least there is no spillage. It kind of felt sterile and unusually clean – patrons who wouldnt dance would stand about 2 or 3 metres away watching. Kind of weird when they stand and stare. Throughout the night there would be no more than 6 or 7 people at one time dancing.. with most times being empty. Pretty ugly sight.
Video: 360 views of primarily the dance floor. (The very last second of this clip shows what guys shouldn’t do to women in a public setting if he wants to leave a good impression) 
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A night in Cronulla for a change. The plan was to just check Northies out for a bit before checking out the other places..

Saturdays @ Northies, Cronulla Hotel, Cronulla Sydney
Assessment Time: 10:50PM – 11:15PM
Address: 1 Kingsway, Cronulla (Opposite Cronulla beach)
Venue Website: http://www.northies.com.au
Promoter Website: Self promoted event tonight
Occurrence: Every weekend.
Outside Line: There was no line when we enetered at this time.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats were definitely allowed – trucker hats, fedora hats, whatever hat you have. It actually was kind of a bit scary when you see some really beefed up guys with trucker hats on. A large majority of the guys here wore t-shirts and jeans.. all the guys here are beefcakes so I would suppose every opportunity is needed to show off their guns. Very casual here. Girls were pretty casual as well – but there also were so many girls that there were a good number wearing one pieces as well.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free all night.
Inside: Walk inside to a foyer area and walk into the corner bar area. From here you can go right to through to the main room for about 500-800 people – a sprawling area of tables and stool chairs for drinking. A bar to the left to supply for everyone here. Lounges dot the far north wall. There is a dancefloor in the north-east corner which occupies about 15-20% of the floor space here, but it is a bit small – to hold 40-50 people. Podium for 5-6 people and the DJ booth is here as well. On the other end of the venue to the South West corner is a separate room where classic/rock music is being played. The capacity of the floor is about the same as the main room, but there are considerably less surrounding tables and chairs. It’s not a large room by comparison.
Cloak Room: None
Bar Prices / Line: No drinking tonight, but there was only one order in front of us when we lined up to request some water.
Eviction Count: None that we saw during this brief time
Music Style: Hard to describe – a disco kind of feel type house music, where a saxophone player goes along with the beat. It’s not something you could really shuffle to. It’s a certain type of dance music but a bit laid back, so no party tunes were being belted out here. Almost reminds me of a Cargo Bar / Bungalow 8 style being replicated here.
Crowd & Ratio: Pretty much you can tell you’re in Cronulla, or somewhere outside of the city. Everyone is Caucasian Australian and the fair majority are locals to the area. Age wise varied but the majority in the main room are young from 18 to low 20’s. There are also a few people mid and late 20’s and some early 30’s represented. In the smaller south-west room the average age is probably a decade older than the main room. The ratio was pretty even – and may I say I have never seen so many hotties in one concentrated area in my bar/club life. That’s me though.
Entertainment: Main room has a saxophone player to play along with the tunes.
Atmosphere: Very busy and bustling in all areas. Dancefloor wise you could have your own little space to break out into dance, but I suppose due to the music you couldn’t really go as hard out as in a typical club. This venue is more focused on the drinking aspect rather than the dance aspect. On the dancefloor itself it was a bit weird, as the majority of the nearby people are watching you, and they are all seated pretty close. Kind of awkward when they sit and stare.
Video: Walkthrough
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Arrivederci
Wasn’t feeling the dance vibe here so we left. From here we moved onto Sting Bar

Recommendation
A popular place for the locals to have a drink by the beach, which is fair, but not many are fans of the dance.

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Pureivy @ Ivy Bar Sydney: Saturday 4th September 2010

On September 4, 2010, in House, Ivy Bar, by James Tran

Note: This event has been superseded by the “Pacha” event as of November 2012. Review at http://www.jamestran.net/?p=4218

A drop by here on urging from a friend . an unintentional visit, but I suppose we can go see what its like!

Ivy Bar Dancing Girls

Ivy Bar Dancing Girls

Pureivy Saturdays @ Ivy Bar Sydney
Assessment Time: 11:00AM – 01:15AM
Opening Hours: 6PM – “Late”. Late being at least 3AM
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 320 George St, Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.merivale.com/ivy/ivybar
Promoter Website: http://www.experienceentertainment.com.au, http://www.pureivy.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday
Dress Code / Door Policy: Collared shirts are expected with a tidy appearance. Girls are very neat and beautiful. Guys are similarly dressed very well in here. You probably would call this place pretentious.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20 flat entry charge. On guestlist, it is $15 before 11PM
Guestlist: rsvp@pureivy.com.au, guestlist@pureivy.com
Inside: Line up at the back lane entrance behind George St. Two ways to enter, via the stairs to Level 1 or via the Elevators to the level 2 area. If going up via the stairs, you walk up to be presented with the bar on the left, restaurant and lounges on the right. In the middle of the courtyard is the dancing area for about 70-80 people with DJ above the water feature in front. Garden plants are spotted around the open area. Lounges and second bar in the far right corner. Walk up the spiral staircase to a bar, and more lounges in a one way walkway pattern around the perimeter of the building. From Level 2 you can peer down the middle to the bottom level. The decor is of someone’s clean backyard with colours of white and yellow throughout
Cloak Room: No cloak room services
Bar Prices: I didn’t drink tonight, but I overheard from a girl buying drinks that upstairs is more expensive than downstairs. Friend bought two drinks which cost him around $26 downstairs. This place is not cheap.
DJs: Resident night – Minx, Tass
Music Style: Popular songs mixed in a electro house/ house manner. The tempo is not too fast, and the DJ has a saxophone player and bongo drum player for support. It’s pretty similar to what one gets at Cargo Bar or Bungalow 8. It’s a safe music style.
Crowd: Mostly Caucasian here. Mostly older crowd of 20’s and above. There were a few spots of Asians and blacks here. Normal folk would call this crowd pretentious, and I guess in some ways they are, but I just see it as they don’t want to get all dirty and sweaty as in a normal club. Well, maybe that is pretentious. I found that the crowd was seemingly friendly. Perhaps it was the dancing types that are friendly, and not the normal bar types who don’t dance at all who give the pretentious perception for the rest of these well dressed guys.
Entertainment: The DJ has a live saxophone and bongo drum player. There are also for periods of time, 2 dancers dressed in white whom dance in the center garden piece.
Atmosphere: Pretty airy, pretty cool, thanks to the open ceiling. Inside the dancefloor, people are just bobbing about. It’s too squishy in here to be able to properly dance without hitting other people. You could really only raise your hand in the air and wave it around when a favourable song begins to play. Seeing as the bar was of an open air design, people are free to smoke as they please anywhere in the middle courtyard.
Video: Walkthrough Level 2 and Level 1
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Video: 360 of the dance area
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Main courtyard dance area - Pureivy Saturdays

Main courtyard dance area taken from the back

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