Bars and Nightclubs
Kings Cross and Potts Point, Sydney

Empire Hotel

2 Roslyn St, Kings Cross, NSW
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Your after dinner, after party, after hours venue. Walk in, take a seat and watch the world go by. Open everyday of the week with live music on Fridays, Ground Bar is perfect for afternoon catch ups or pre-dinner drinks! With 3 massive levels incorporating four different bars, from functions to frivolity, Empire is your only destination.

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Empire Hotel Review

Review by Kaya Strehler

Heading into the Cross for a ladies night out and are overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of venue selection? I would happily recommend Empire Hotel. Reasonably priced drinks, occasional free entry, drinking environments for all niches and boys, boys, boys.

Now it may have been on that particular night that my girlfriends and I ventured into the hotel, but what started off as a ‘oh lets go in for one drink’ turned into a sly check of the time to only realize it was 3am (5 hours later…).

Boasting a location feat on the corner of Darlinghurst st and Roslyn st, The Empire Hotel has 3 levels with 5 bars, all catering to different genres of alcohol consumption. There’s the chilled out bar downstairs for a lazy drink or sport related outing. Then there’s level 1, a typical Cross nightclub fit-out with bar and dance floor. Finally there’s level 2, also known as Fake Club, but that deserves it’s own review.

This particular night we focused mainly on level 1. Ambient lights, cheap shots and fun top 40 dance tracks kept us in the doors regardless of the initial small crowd. Slowly as the dance floor started to fill, the music got louder and the dance podium more appealing.

If dancing’s not your cup of tea, no biggie, there are comfortable couches far away enough from the dance floor to conduct a scream-conversation and also tables and bar chairs on the other side of the level for more seclusion.

The bar isn’t anything to write home about – if anything it’s pretty small thus making the lines longer but the staff are super friendly and I might add super cute. Drinks are your standard Kings Cross prices, Shots from $7-$10, basic beers on tap and in bottles from $8 and mixed spirits from $8.

The aforementioned dance floor is what I think makes level one of Empire Hotel most appealing. Filled with so many different groovers, in one night I saw representatives from newly legal drinkers, cougars, bucks night attendees, hipsters, awkward intelligent types, loud rumbustious hotties and yours truly. One tip is don’t look up. The cluster of disco balls leaves you staring mesmerized until people start to stare and wonder what exactly has this person consumed.

Fun times were had that night, which was meant to be spread throughout numerous venues, but before we realized what had happened, Empire had taken ahold of us and was not letting go. Then we realized it was taxi change over time and things were about to get hectic.

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A Second Review of Empire Hotel

Review By Shauna O’Carroll

What used to be the first strip club in Sydney is now a vibrant part of the nightclub scene catering to all sorts. The Empire Hotel, nestled on the corners of Roslyn St and Darlinghurst St in Kings Cross, boasts a massive 3 levels with 5 separate bars. There is definitely something for everyone here. The decor can only be described as fabulous, with a huge dance floor and large sofas and cushions available to sit, chill and relax. The hotel also has a disco vibe going with multiple disco balls hanging from the ceiling, definitely not found at most clubs anymore!

There is a large mix of people that can be found at the Empire, ranging from young 18-year-olds on their first Kings Cross expedition, to businessmen and women heading in for a drink after work. The Empire is open every night of the week and is great to chill out, watch some sport on the huge plasmas that show FOX SPORTS and ESPN all night in the main bar, or play some pool. If you are looking for a party atmosphere, Friday and Saturday are the nights to go. Friday has free entry all night, with ultra cheap Vodka Redbulls and $4 Beers all night with live music. Saturday boasts dance music all night with free entry before 11pm and cheap spirits from 9 – 11pm, so get in early for some cheap drinks. Overall the drinks are quite cheap for a Kings Cross bar and the bartenders are very friendly. This is definitely a place you should go for pre-drinks if you are looking to down some good spirits before you start partying.

The shots are also quite reasonably priced and very good, can’t say no to their wet pussy shots! I found that the dance floor doesn’t really get going until about midnight so this is a good place to go to relax and unwind with a few drinks before a big night out. It can be a bit lonely before then, with only very few people willing to hit the dance floor. Or come to the Empire as the last stop of your night out and you will find it going off! If you want a seat either get in early or make a guest list, otherwise you may not have a spot to sit down, it gets packed very quickly.

The only problem I have with the Empire is their bathrooms: they need a bit of a scrub and are quite small, so be prepared to wait in line. Post midnight the vibe is decidedly lively, but a visible security presence ensures a friendly vibe remains. Overall the Empire is good for cheap drinks, some fun dancing, great music and in a nutshell a fabulous night out!

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Fake Club (Empire Hotel Level 2) Review

Review By Katie Van Leeuwen

Flaunting a very warehouse look and feel, Fake Club is becoming one of the more popular nightclubs in Kings Cross.

Taking over the second floor of the Empire Hotel on Friday and Saturday nights, Fake Club has a look similar to Oxford Art Factory. Once you walk up the fire exit style stairs you’re met with a large room, similar to a garage with high ceilings and massive industrial fans. Look to the left and there’s a dance floor for around 150-200 people and a wall of black lounges, sectioned off into booths to fit 20 people or so (you can reserve these if you want to have a birthday or something like that at Fake.) There’s a long bar at the back of the dance floor and a tiny backroom for those looking for a bit of RnB.

Fake attracts a moderately mixed crowd: it’s a bit mainstream and a bit alternative but definitely skewed to the younger party-goers and you’ll be lucky to find anyone over 30. There is a good blend of guys and girls, but I know some guys who weren’t allowed in unless they had girls with them. The dress code isn’t strict at all – there are guys in singlets and girls in shorts and sandals. The only thing to steer clear of would be thongs.

One of the few downsides is the entry fee, which is $20 on a Saturday night. To avoid this, you can get yourself on a guest list and the fee drops to $15, but only if you’re there before 10pm. The line at the door doesn’t get too long. On the Saturday night I was there, we waited for 5 or 10 minutes before getting to the start of the line and let in.

Drinks however are very well priced. A vodka raspberry (which is what most of the girls there were drinking) will cost you $7 and a tap beer around $4. Fake Club is however, known for its ‘infamous Thai buckets’ which are $10 between 9pm and 10pm and $12 after 10pm. These buckets taste great – they’re a mix of vodka, red bull and other lovely things – but you couldn’t drink them all night so one or two is probably enough.

The massive LED screen panning the length of the DJ booth sets the scene for an electric atmosphere throughout the club. The screen flashes crazy colours and shapes and all sorts of things and just adds that extra spark to the club. There’s a great vibe at Fake with people always dancing and going wild, some even crowd surfing.

The sound system at Fake is a massive plus, pumping out house, techno and dubstep until all hours of the morning. If you’re not a fan of loud and heavy house music, this club probably isn’t for you. Fake is very much a party place, I wouldn’t consider it for after work drinks or a chilled out night to catch up. There is a very small backroom dedicated to old school RnB, hip hop and rap but like I said, its tiny.

So if you want a wild night of clubbing in the Cross, Fake is the place for you. Friday and Saturday nights carry on until 5am so it’s a great place if you’re looking for a big night out.

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Captured At Empire Hotel

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