Bars and Nightclubs
Adelaide CBD, Adelaide


54 Currie Street Basement
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When Zhivago opened its doors back in 2003 it began as a small world music club playing diverse sounds from around the globe.

We gained a great reputation for being a casual artistic space where people could mingle, converse, and dance the night away. In 2005 we started to evolve, changing up the music and the feel of the club, becoming one of Adelaide’s more intriguing and talked-about clubs in the West End.

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Zhivago Review

Review by Imogen Richards

Having just located to the corner of Leigh and Grenfell Streets in Adelaide’s CBD, Zhivago stands as one of hottest broad-scale nightclubs to grace this city.

Previously having been situated on the south end of Colonel Light Square (since 2003), the new Zhivago relocated in 2011 and maintains much of the classic ‘grunge’ ambience which originally rendered it so popular. ‘Wendy Zhivago’- as she has actively promotes herself- both owns and operates this semi-superclub, ensuring with reliability and regularity that all of her patrons enjoy the full extent of their party experience.

Integral to the street-style feel of Zhivago is the polished cement floor and ghetto graffiti tags on the walls. For me, this almost generates the feel of participating in one of the veritable dance-offs made famous by Ben Stiller’s 2001 hit movie Zoolander. Derelict was the parody which Stiller’s performance embodied, but in the case of Zhivago this style successfully carries over to make the experience refreshing unique and novel. Paint splatters also streak the floor, illuminating under disco lights the ample spirit selection available behind the bar.

Drink specials vary depending on the variously themed night, although there is typically at least one beer and one spirit – usually imported lager and often bourbon and coke – available for around $7. If you are, however, seeking to be more adventurous in your drink selections for the evening, there is also a wide array of boutique beers, ciders, and specialised cocktails to be considered. For those working in hospitality, specialised nights include Black Cherry Sundays and the newly introduced Wednesdays. Both of these nights typically start late and end considerably later as the clientele frequently attend after having just finished respective work shifts. Skream on Friday nights and High Heels on Saturdays are also frequently packed with those looking to enjoy a standard weekend party night out.

In addition to a pumping dance floor, numerous couches are also available for party-goers in need of recovery in addition to those preferring to enjoy the night from a more relaxed perspective. The DJ music is typically loud though, playing a reminiscent mixture of classic nineties hits right through to those most popular today. Tracks tend to vary dependent on different feature nights, although it can safely be assumed that music will always be of a classic dance variety.

Standing out somewhat from other Adelaide clubbing destinations, the new underground Zhivago also features two new VIP areas where special functions may secure private booths slightly more removed from the dance floor. Partitioned from the rest of the club typically by curtains or screens, booths could not entirely be considered private, although for small gatherings this set-up makes them ideal. A Strut Crew also dedicatedly tends to these functions, providing table service to the bookings and assumedly also working the ‘strut’ that defines their label.

Most excitingly what makes Zhivago as a nightclub stand out from its competitors is the fact that it serves food! The alley next to Leigh Street that leads to its entrance is intermittently loaded with carts serving both sausage sizzles and cupcakes. The owner certainly has her patrons pegged, fulfilling the craving for delectable treats we can all be familiar with.

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