A birthday! At the Retro. It’s been a long time since I’ve been. Let’s go!!

Saturdays @ The Retro Bristol Arms Hotel

This review incorporates elements from tonight and a prior visit in 2010.

Assessment Time:
11:30ish – 02:30AM

Opening Hours:
Open during the day until 3:00AM (Possibly later?)

Lockout: 1:30AM at time of writing

Address: 51 Sussex St , Sydney

Venue Website: http://www.theretro.com.au

Promoter Website: Self Promoted by the venue

Occurrence: Every Saturday are the themed nights, Friday does not seem to have themed nights

Dress Code / Door Policy: Anything goes. Half the crowd wear casual while the other half, are wearing costumes and outfits. It’s pretty cool.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free if you dress up in the weekly them. $20 Standard cover charge between 9PM and midnightDiscount on guestlist. Tonight’s theme is bikies or something. Some of our friends are of those who are like ‘I hate dressing up’ types – you know exactly EXACTLY what kind of friends I am talking about. They rather cough up money than dress up. The closest phobia is masqueradeaphobia. No line upon lining up

Guestlist: See website.

Inside: The retro is attracting a smaller crowd as opposed to a few years ago. Not sure if due to lockout laws or due to other factors. The ground floor is no longer a dance area.

Level 1
Walk inside to directly enter the stairway upstairs to level 1. It’s the  80’s and 90’s level, split into two areas – Chill out lounge room on the right – where there are sofas a pool table and small bar. On the left is the dancefloor area where there is a bar on the left, a the DJ in the far middle centre, with a podium in front to hold about 10 people. There are sofas spotted to the right along the walls and a private taped off VIP area to the left corner. The middle is dancefloor space dotted with the holding colums.

Level 2
Up to the top 90’s level where you walk through to a carpeted dancefloor room. Bar and VIP/sofas to the right. DJ on the far left corner. Coloured flourescent retro lights flash in sequence. Two podiums on the left to hold about 8 people each, and dancefloor space left to hold about 100-150 people. There are also some beer pong tables.

Cloak Room: Couldn’t find it.

Bar Prices / Line: Didn’t drink tonight. Line at the bar was quite the wait – it’s tragic on level 1 as there is like 1 bartender – the wait is 10-15 minutes. Level 2 there is 2 or 3 bartenders with the wait being approx 5 minutes.

Unknown – Level 2 was pretty good, friendly, joking and mixed well
Level 1 DJ was pretty bad. Played songs in their entirety and quite a few songs even I didn’t know and/or the crowd didn’t seemingly were into. It was truly retro.

Music Style:
Level 1 was dedicated to 80’s and 90’s retro dance and rock music, while the top level was dedicated to 2000’s retro rnb, pop, whatever was well known.

Wildly varied ages from early 20’s to probable late 40’s and 50’s. However dominantly were people in their 30’s as evident by the birthdays and hen’s nights. Dominantly white crowd of Ausises and Euros. Only some Asians were here.
Beer pong competition on level 2

Level 1 1980’s retro was a bit dirty and crowded, but people were enjoying themselves. Like an older version of a backpackers bar. It’s quite a happy vibe with happy tunes playing. Much the same can be said for the top level, but not as ‘happy’ as the middle level. Upstairs was more of a dancing atmosphere due to the younger crowd, smoke machines and less lightingIt is really the upper levels that are the highlight of the venue, and where most of my night was spent.

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Intent on going to Empire Hotel tonight but it was dead as – there were already cleaners cleaning the place up! Strange for only midnight. Random promoters for Ladylux give us free entry passes on the street, so the matter of ‘what venue do we go to next?’ was pretty much sorted out – here we go!

Robin Hood with M's Russian Commisar hat

Fridays @ Ladylux Nightclub, Kings Cross Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:10PM – 01:45AM
Opening Hours: 9:00PM or earlier ~ 03:00AM (facebook page states 06:00AM, but Dj set list lasted until 2AM.. so I wouldn’t know to be sure)
Lockout: No lockout.
Address: 2 Roslyn St, Potts Point (Kings Cross), Sydney.
Venue Website: http://www.ladylux.com.au
Promoter Website: Appears to be self promoted
Occurrence: Every Friday and Saturday is open. Saturday are the more heavily promoted nights while Fridays rarely get a mention.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual ok. Half the guys wore casual t-shirts while the other half wore collared shirts. Girls were mostly in dresses. Hats were allowed. I was dressed up as Robin Hood with feather hat.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 is the full cover charge. We were given promoter cards on the street to get free entry all night. A very fair deal here.
Guestlist: Submitted via the website. The existing link at time of writing is at http://www.myguestlist.com.au/mgl/ccp/ladylux/index.html
Inside: There’s not much of a giveaway that the entrance is of Ladylux. It’s just a doorway in the side of a building with 2 security guards outside. As you walk inside, there is a private VIP room to the immediate right. I didn’t go in there, but I would be making an educated guess based from the outside walls that it would only hold about 10 people. Continue walking past a small lounge area on the left – as you look around note the wallpapers – white with fuschia-coloured flowering patters on the walls. Continue to the next small area which is the bar. Once you reach the bar you are now at the edge of the dancefloor, which takes up probably two fifths of the entire floor area of the venue. DJ corner in the far right. The dancefloor area is about 5-6 people width by 15-20 people long. There are sofas along both sides of the dancefloor as well. At the far end wall are a set of lights that flash around looking pretty. The video below will walk you through the setup.
Cloak Room: No cloak room. Well I didn’t ask, but I didn’t see any signs indicating presence of a cloak room.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink tonight, but lining up would set you behind 2 or 3 other orders.
Music Style: Primarily Commercial House and Electro. The occasional RnB mashup song thrown in as well. I quite liked it as I knew the songs and people were singing along to it. Songs were mixed well without complaints.
Crowd: Almost entirely Caucasians, all young 20’s or teens. From the people we spoke with, backgrounds were a mix of locals and backpackers who mysteriously ended up in here. The ratio was about 35% women 65% guys. By the time we left at 2:00AM, it was almost all guys.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Atmosphere: It’s pretty dark in here. The entire first half of the place (lounge areas) have been decorated with various Halloween things hanging from the ceiling and what not. Pretty cool. However, even before you notice the decorations, the first thing that hits you is the pungent smell of the whole place. It kind of smells like a mix of dried up alcohol spilled on the floor combined with the results of a very poor urinal flushing system, or someone peeing all over the entire place. It wasn’t powerful enough to scare you out of the club, but at various points throughout the night your nose would be wondering… ‘What on earth is that smell?’. Kind of like when I was in India – the yucky smell was always there in the main cities, but you tolerated it. People wise, the dancefloor itself always had people on it, so there was no need to feel lonely. Most kept to their own, there were also a few drunk guys as well.

Video: Walkthrough: Starting at the cash register – walk through the lounge area, bar area and dancefloor. (12:11AM)

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Video: 360: Dancefloor from the corner where the DJ is (12:30AM)
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