I’ve always walked by this event and wondered how it was inside, and why there was always a line outside. Did the Establishment really hold an event this good? Tonight is the night to find out. Too lazy to submit a guestlist (there are no easy instructions to do so) so I just kept the night free, brought some friends and rocked up to see how it was like. Here we go!

Sienna @ Establishment - Dance area and seating area behind

Sienna @ Establishment - Dance area and seating area behind. Actual dancing area width spanned from the white pole on the right of the photo to the middle pole. Length was double this picture.

Sienna @ Establishment Hotel

Assessment Time: 11:30PM-01:30AM and 02:30AM-03:00AM. I spent one hour in between to visit Brooklyn Hotel and Jackson’s on George.
Opening Hours: 09:00PM – 03:00AM
Lockout: No lockout.
Address: 252 George St, Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.merivale.com/establishment/hotel
Promoter Website: http://www.rnbsuperclub.com , http://www.facebook.com/sydney-australia/sienna
Occurrence: Every Saturday
Outside Line: The line appeared to be pretty long. Maybe 20-30 deep. Then when you think about it, it wasn’t that long of a wait. We waited about 15 minutes before we were let in. The line moved faster than we are used to at the Asian events.
Dress Code / Door Policy: You pretty much have to dress nicely to get in, or at least fit in here. Pretty much all the guys here have collared shirts, and many have vests and ties to match. Girls equally are dressed immaculately.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: 2 for 1 entry before 10PM, if you printed out their flyer or had a promotional card for this month. Otherwise it was $15 for the entire night. I was expecting to pay at least $20 but was pleasantly surprised to see $15 for non-guestlist pricing. I wonder how much it was to be on the guestlist..
Guestlist: These need to be submitted via the promoter website, or you can contact on the facebook page.
Inside: The entrance of the venue is more of a chillout area where lounges to the left and right hold 30 each. The entire venue is a long, long room, with a long, long bar to match most of the length of it. The bar eats up about half the space here in the main room. People will need to stand around on the left hand side to mingle with some room to dance. The left side of the bar area could hold 100 people or so. On the far end of the bar, the DJ is located not on the right hand side, but on the left hand side near the window, which was surprising. The immediate dance area next to the DJ can hold another 100 or so people.
Cloak Room: The cloak room was available but surprisingly all I saw was an empty rack of coathangers – I don’t think not even one soul used the cloak room that night.
Bar Prices / Line: Didn’t drink tonight, but the line up for a drink was very short, and half the time the bartenders are looking around looking for someone to serve.
DJs: The entire time we were here, DJ Def Rok was playing, but other DJ’s listed on the site include G-Wizard, Lilo, Eko and Troy T – they could have been playing earlier. The obvious benefit of having one DJ for the majority of the night is that there are no repeated songs!
Music Style: As stated, no repeated songs. RnB is the primary choice tonight, and its a good selection, always keeping the crowd up and about. The style of RnB wasn’t all American African based RnB, there was a very strong latin fused theme going on tonight regarding the songs being played here tonight. Think of Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, Shakira… there was a lot more of this ‘summery’ style of RnB being played. There was also the occasional house mashup as well. DJ mixed well, no complaints.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Crowd & ratio: A good even mix of guys and girls here. Mostly young 18-low 20’s. Nothing to complain about .. there might have actually been more women here than men when i think about it. Dominantly a wog euro crowd from locally around here. The rest are Aussie, with a very small minority of Asians and what not. Also this is the first warm weekend after the previous washouts, and on top of this its the end of semester for uni students and the end of year 12 for all the others – its a big one.
Atmosphere: I’ll leave this in the words of M who was with me: ‘Although Establishment is quite a spacious bar, the impractical layout inside drastically inhibits mobility. The enormous bar in the centre of everything means all traffic is funneled into two streams moving around the bar. The problem with this is that people do not co-ordinate their movements collectively. So you have people who are trying to move to the back obstructing the people who are trying to access the main bar at the front and those who are trying to leave moving in the opposite direction; the people queued at the bar stretch perpendicularly across the walkway obstructing people moving in any direction; and the people dancing occupy every other remaining space. To make things worse, long tables and chairs are lined along the centre of the walkways, constricting the already negligible traffic flow even further, as the people seated at these tables do not move at all until their bottles are empty. After a frustrating crawl through the crowd at the bar, and another crowd at the DJ stand, we finally find some reasonably unoccupied space at the back in the outdoor lounge area. The music is perfect with fresh tracks and the DJ is mixing it together well. Most of the people around the DJ stand are dancing and having a good time and unafraid to enjoy themselves.’ I would agree with the thoroughfare issue – it’s a very busy area along the side; the majority of people were on the pretty packed dancefloor. Atmosphere is also very vibrant amongst the patrons while not overheating thanks to the high ceiling. I liked it.
Video: Walkthrough video of the entrance, walk along the length of the bar, through the busy dancefloor and into the back area where a second bar resides.
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Video: 360 of the dance area
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We spent a good 2 hours at Pavillion dancing then it reached around 12:30, where everybody typically leaves. It was time to find another club, but we just ended up walking around half of the Sydney CBD area checking out the typical clubs…. so here we go!

11 Quick Club reviews as seen from outside the club aka Window Shopping – 19th December 2009. (Northern Sydney CBD)

Saturdays @ Star Bar on George St
– Packed. However we had overdosed lately on Star Bar and its amusing crowd of non-english speaking tourists. It was a no go tonight, no matter how tempting it was to go inside there.

PS. I no longer write reviews when I visit star bar, as I visit this place too much.

Saturdays @ Arthouse on Pitt St (1am)
– Tonight was not an ‘Asian’ night (Fame), but it was a white-crowd event. House music was playing outside, and there was no line outside – it looked pretty shit inside from the outside. There was a cover charge.

Saturdays @ The Vault on Pitt St
– We walked by this bar and heard RNB music playing! Whoa, we have to try it out. We walk up to the entrance and there is a smallish dance floor with about 15 people dancing on it – it was almost dead, but better than Pavillion. However the bouncer refused us entry on the excuse of ‘a private function’. We were 4 guys so it was understandable, but the private function excuse didn’t seem congruent, as there was no second person to confirm a guestlist. Whatever, it was dead.

Saturdays @ Coolabar
– Music is pumping out, tape and escalators are in operation to the bar upstairs. There are two people outside. It was on! We know Coolabar is a shithole, but we want to wow the crowd inside, if there was one.

We run up but the two people inside tell us we can’t go inside, as the place is closed. What!?! You wonder why some places are even open at all if they are closing at 1.30am on a Saturday night.

Bamboo @ Martin Place Bar
– The line is shorter than usual, but there *is* a line, which is better than the other places so far. Entirely asian, and RNB playing outside, it is tempting to go inside, but all four of us were not big fans of paying $25 to go inside. People inside had santa hats on. We could see Jason the resident Korean bum dancer hogging the podium from the outside.

Security came up and spoke with us. We had a short fun chat and perved on some girls walking by, you know, typical man stuff. Security was called to kick out a drunk person. Moments later he is walking out with a drunk girl and 3 of her girlfriends supporting her. haha, it is not classy at all to see a drunk girl, let me tell you that. Security tells the girls it is all ok, and wraps his arms around the two girls beside him. LOL omg he is hitting on drunk girls outside of thd club – I want to be a bouncer now!!! haha, what a sneaky sleaze.

Funky Buddha @ Verandah Bar on Castlereagh St (Martin Place)
Here they recently opened the trance room again (after a 3 or 4 year absence). Cover is $20, crowd is asian, music is RNB and trance.

We ask some girls who left Funky Buddah if it was any good.
“Average” was the reply. It was in other words, shit. There was, though, a line outside, so it must be somewhat ok.

I do want to check it out as it’s been a while, and I have to see how the Trance room looks now.

Saturdays @ Red Room Hotel Chambers on Castlereagh St (Martin Place)

We were able to peek inside from the entrance – and even though it looked crowded, it didn’t seem like a fun atmosphere. Music was old school RNB, with a cover charge of $20 and an asian crowd.

Tank Nightclub (Bridge lane)
OneLove moved to the Bourbon about a month ago, and we did not know if there was any event, so we took a punt and walked here. It was, unfortunately, closed. (At the time writing, Onelove @ the Bourbon has also shut its doors)… I think I might start a new event here! ha.

20/20 @ Brooklyn Hotel (George St Circular Quay)
Ever since Privilege closed for renovations a few weeks ago, promoters Hypnotize moved their Saturday event to Brooklyn and joined with Urban Agent to help out. The result is that my favourite place to go for free drunk girls and $17 Vodka Red Bulls has turned into a cover charged event full of not so drunk people. I yearn for the former glory days of seediness.

I peek inside the main rnb room and it is pretty packed. I go around the back and look down in the outdoor courtyard area where they are playing house/trance. Back in the no-cover charge days, the place usually had 5-10 people dancing max, while the others sit and watch. Now with the help of the promoters, the entire back area as PACKED. Jesus fucking christ I could not believe what I was seeing – Brooklyn Hotel actually packed out! I could not see any concrete, it was just a sea of people standing up, dancing and cheering. It looked pretty awesome. The bartenders must be having a hard time adjusting to actually having to work non-stop.

However my friends, still don’t want to go inside. They are pretty adamant about not going inside here, considering the crappy times they had the last few times. haha.

Also, regular patrons here (i.e. the islanders) were lining up to get in, not knowing that they need to pay entry. There were some outside, thinking of other places to go. So the crowd inside was a mix of islanders, asians and aussies. Cover charge I am guessing is $20. Based on what I saw, it looks good.

Sienna @ Establishment on George St
We are just walking by. They’re playing house music, though I had thought Sienna was an RNB event. The crowd is dominantly Euro, and cover charge is $20. I do need to check this place out too. It looked pretty busy from what we could see

Saturdays @ Ivy on George St
Loud, and looking quite busy. We can’t see inside from the street but we can hear people cheering from the inside. Sounds like fun. Am definitely going to spend a night here one day next year.

Saturdays @ Bar 333 on George St (2am)
Bottom level was closed and upstairs looked pretty dead.

By this time we have given up, and we have managed to end up back where we started – standing outside Star Bar. I was dying to do any form of dance, but friends were puffed out from walking up and down the CBD for 2 hours. Fair enough, but I wish they were keen for a dance!! So we called it a night.

If I had to pick a club tonight, it would be 20/20 @ Brooklyn Hotel.