Bars and Nightclubs
Oxford Street, Sydney

Q Bar (The Exchange Hotel)

2/44 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW
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The concept of Q is to step away from a dedicated style and provide an alternative for people looking for a place to meet, talk, dance, have a drink, play a game of pinball or pool or more generally just to have fun. Q has played host to many a celebrity and too many to mention, from Kylie to Elle to the Crown Prince of Denmark, from Eddie Vedder to Lawrence Fishburne to Ice T to Boy George to Bono and more…

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Expect the unexpected at Spectrum (Q Bar)

Review by Nastasia Campanella

Whether you’re a member of a band, an artist, designer or a no hoper who doesn’t quite fit into any category of life, your spirit is always welcome at this place. They say rules are meant to be broken right? When other clubs are enforcing the types of outfits we can wear, hair colour and mates we hang out with, Spectrum is chucking regulation out the window. You’ll find everything here from beefed up guys doing shots at the bar alongside pretty young [sometimes underage], girls with a weeks worth make up plastered on their face, to tall skinny boyish males waving a hand or two on the stage. Really, it’s not called spectrum for nothing – anything goes here.

The club has a weekly resident night called Hot Damn and it pumps until three am every Thursday. Hot Damn is a perfect way to catch a local band or two. I’ve been a few times now and always leave with a new CD and sore feet. This is a place where everyone dances and no one is snobby. It’s an avant-garde space with basic wallpaper and pieces of art moving in and out of the venue. Creativity and experiment is absolutely mandatory so wear your most out there outfit, the biggest heals you own and bring an open mind along. Really, this is the hunting ground for individuals – those eccentric types who never quite fitted into the cool crowd at school – to run free.

The place isn’t huge on providing food. Darlinghurst is cramming with eateries of all prices and quizines so grab a bight to eat before you head here. Drinks on the other hand, are cheap as chips. Expect $5 shots, average house wine and top notch beers which won’t break the bank. What ever you do, don’t forget to let loose and dance like no one’s watching!

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A Second Review of Hot Damn!

Review by Blake Maiorana

Located within The Exchange Hotel, (which is home to five separate bars; 34B, Q Bar, Phoenix, Spectrum and Vegas) Hot Damn! is the venue’s cornerstone event, every Thursday and also special occasions (think New Years, Long Weekends, etc.). Entry prices are cheap, $20 or $15 if you know the right people.

Most of the action (and if that’s what you’re looking for, Hot Damn! Is definitely for you) happens upstairs, nestled yet spread throughout 34B and Q Bar. The place, in its entirety, is smaller than what you’d expect of a club, yet the cliché of “quality over quantity”, definitely sits here. Don’t expect classy, as Hot Damn! prides itself on messy nights and even messier individuals.

Posters of upcoming events are scattered throughout the venue, while alternative artwork can also be found etched onto the walls, if your eyes are able to make out the drawings through the dim lighting and the sea of moving bodies pushed up against you. Don’t wear your best shirt or dress here. The attire is casual, so expect band shirts, singlets, snapbacks and vans; with the exception of thongs, anything goes at Hot Damn! The music encompasses all types of genres, but the emphasis is more on the band scene, with local and international bands playing downstairs in Spectrum. If you’re a punk/hardcore kind of kid, you won’t feel out of place at all.

Q Bar upstairs is for RNB/Top40 Pop lovers, and if you’re into dancing until your feet are no more, you will find your place here. While opposite, in 34B, is home to your heavier side of things, with Hot Damn! DJs playing punk rock and hardcore until 5AM the next morning. For when you need a breather after moshing in the band room or dancingaway the night, there is more than your fair share of places to relax, with a number of booths and seats throughout each room. Afraid of meeting someone who might ruin your night? Don’t fret. While it’s busier certain Thursdays than others, the club attract a very friendly, easy going crowd, who will be more inclined to strike up a conversation in the notorious smoke room than ending your night early.

Student? Another reason Hot Damn! should interest you. 18 to 25 year olds are within the range you’ll be seeing at the Exchange Hotel on a Thursday. $5 spirits make it quite affordable, with beers also cheap and the trademark “Fucket” (two shots and a mixer) at $8. The venue itself doesn’t stock meals, so if you’re hungry towards the end of the night you’re better off visiting one of the many takeaways located snugly on Oxford Street.

There aren’t many negatives about this club, except for the fact it gets quite hot inside the venue during warmer months, and you will be nursing an understatement of a headache the next morning. The best thing? You won’t have to dip into the life savings to enjoy yourself at Hot Damn!, which makes the morning after more tolerable.

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Captured At Q Bar (The Exchange Hotel)

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