Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney CBD, Sydney

Scary Canary

469 Kent St, Sydney, QLD
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Full on Flat Out, 7 days a week the Scary Canary is the Chic and Stylish watering hole for local business and residents. Come any day of the week and you can expect, Great drinks, Awsome food, and a warm welcome from our friendly bar staff.

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Scary Canary Review

Review by Mary Ward

Let’s be serious. Nightclubs aren’t meant to be respectable. Your mother’s book club is respectable. Your grandmother’s bingo club is respectable. But your nightclub? Not so much.

It is on that mind-blowing piece of analysis that I introduce Scary Canary, the Sydney club that divides the masses. In the red corner, we have the haters – the people who hear ‘Scary’ and are literally frightened by the folklore of a stuffy, crowded, dirty wasteland in which someone’s cousin once slipped over in a pool of three-hour old vomit. In the blue corner, we have the fans. The people who hear ‘Scary’ and are transported back to memories of fun and larks that they can’t really recall sequentially or coherently, but that they know didn’t put them out of pocket for a taxi home.

Only a five-minute walk from Town Hall Station, Scary unashamedly is what it is. The national flags above the dance floor reflect its position as a backpackers’ haunt. It is cheap, and it is proud.

The décor of this split-level club is industrial, or non-existent, depending on whom you talk to. There are a few long tables on the lower floor opposite the bar, and several chairs at the back of the dance floor on the upper level. That said; this isn’t really the sort of place where people sit down. However, if you’re getting there early, there is plenty of cheap, pub-style food – steaks and burgers – to enjoy.

All of the action is on the upper level, where your standard house playlist is thumping. So, after you’ve fuelled your dance machine with Scary’s signature Scary Jar – a jam jar filled with vodka, energy drink, smiles and rainbows – it’s time to let it loose. Limited space and hundreds of partygoers mean that you will probably be touching the person behind you. And the person in front of you. Oh, and the people either side. But, like I said; this is a nightclub, not a ballroom dancing club.

Although I love the rambunctious atmosphere of Scary, I should probably now concede that the people in the red corner do have a point. Scary is a little bit infamous for its blatant objectification of women – and, to a lesser extent, men – with its strip games and contests. These get a little cringe-worthy at the best of times, and, at the worst of times, make you feel genuinely sorry for some poor, drunken girl standing in front of a crazed crowd of British men on “a gap yah” in only her undies. These games are normally played before 10:30pm. If you’re arriving after that, you’re probably safe.

Scary is also renowned for not being the cleanest of places. The aforementioned anecdote about the three-hour old vomit probably holds some weight. Nor is it known as the trendiest venue. Or the classiest.

But, I suppose you have to ask yourself: are you the cleanest, trendiest, classiest human being ever to walk this earth? No, you’re not. Scary is an institution that every Sydney partygoer must pass through at least once in their lives, even if it is only to prove that they have lived to tell the tale. Just don’t bring your grandmother. Or her bingo club.

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A Second Review of Scary Canary

Review By Maree Sorbello

Renowned as the hub of Sydney’s backpacker nightlife, Scary Canary, or ‘Scary’s’, as its fans call it, offers free entry and cheap drinks every night of the week.

Upon entering the club, one must weave their way to the bar – oh yes, weave. Did I mention it was crowded? Well, it’s very crowded. However this may just be because of the club’s sheer small size, or the fact that it’s loved so much by our Sydney backpacker population. Nightly drink specials and $5 steak and chicken wings are definitely a drawcard, and I do love my steak although this isn’t exactly the place to go and have a lovely sit down meal.

Once at the bar (or somewhere in the same vicinity) it’s easy to see the array of nightly drink specials and all-out cheap drinks, with house spirits available for as little as $4 each… and it doesn’t stop here. Each night, the club promotes a different theme – wet Wednesdays, seedy Sundays, and as I was lucky enough to witness, bad backpackers Saturdays. As you may have guessed, Scary’s has a somewhat cheeky atmosphere with its wet t-shirt competitions on Wednesdays and free shots for those willing to kiss the bartenders on Saturdays.

The music is nothing really different to what you would find in any of Sydney’s nightclubs – fast, loud, heavy bass – however the club does advertise it’s featuring of a different DJ from the top of the Australian music scene each week, including names like Timmy Trumpet and TV Rock.

What makes this club so different, though, is its unique blend of cultures. The decor says it all, with flags of countries worldwide hanging above the bar. As you walk around the club, the main bar can be seen with a few tables scattered nearby for those who need a break, from which the thick accents and light chatter of backpackers from everywhere can be heard. Taking a couple of steps up past these tables, you walk straight onto the dance floor, which features a lit-up stage, a few small areas to sit and a small bar across the other side of the room, all within a few steps. The lighting really isn’t great, which is probably why they call it a nightclub, however it’s always better to have enough light to see your friends in front of you as you party the night away, rather than just the occasional flash of a strobe.

All fun aside, Scary’s is clearly a spot for the young – I don’t think I saw more than a few faces over 25 all night. It’s only a couple of minutes’ walk from Town Hall station so it’s a great location and easy to find with a bit of guidance.

All up, if you’re just out to let your hair down or passing through for a few cheap drinks on your way around the city, Scary’s is great. Although, for those of us who aren’t backpackers – or if you fancy yourself a little more classy – it’d be the spot to go for a good time, not a long time… or maybe even no time at all.

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