Located where both One Bar and Eden Bar used to be, Empire Club has well established its regime on its prominent spot on the corner of Mount Alexander Road and Puckle Street, and has so far managed to keep it in effect.
After paying a ten dollar entry fee, you will walk up a flight of stairs to see a regal-looking club with mirrors along the walls, round white chandeliers on the ceiling, and black couches in the corner (though there are small barricades blocking your view of the rest of the club, so you probably will not be sitting there for long). The bar is nice-looking and the tequila bottles are piled on a bright, white rectangular pyramid-like surface, with quick staff and cheap drinks (the venue got into a bit of strife because of these cheap drinks, claiming how the venue made the alcoholic drinks cheaper than soft drinks was condoning irresponsible drinking, though that would mostly be the view of people who do not know how to have a good time).
Despite the regal look, the patrons, aged anywhere between 18 and their 40s, were mostly wearing smart casual clothes, anything from tight dresses to a tee and denim shorts, making the place accessible to most people while keeping its regal feel. Unfortunately, the regal feel does not extend to the unkempt toilets that stink, have broken toilet seats, and none of the toilet roll dispensers have covers on them; these toilets were not worthy of a great empire and should be banished from the kingdom. Yet again, this is a nightclub toilet, so you have to expect that it won’t be up to scratch after a ton of people have used it one after another on the same night.
Whereas One Bar and Eden Bar mostly just had typical dance music you would expect at most other nightclubs, Empire Club has both this and a cover band together on Friday nights to give patrons a mixed experience of both forms of live music. The DJ played mostly generic dance music, but the band on the other hand played anything from ‘80s and ‘90s rock classics like ‘I Love Rock N’ Roll’ by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and ‘Better’ by The Screaming Jets, to more recent chart toppers like ‘I Got A Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga which lead onto Gaga’s other hit ‘Just Dance’, ‘Tick Tock’ by Ke$ha, and ‘My Head’ by Jason Derulo. The band got the crowd to dance and sing along while on the dance floor, which was only half-full at the time. Perhaps it is this variety of music that has made Empire Club more successful than its predecessors, but time will be the judge of that.
Originally published here at barsandnightclubs.com.au on Monday 21 February 2011