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Summary of current clubs in Canberra 31 Oct 2006:
Academy - on Bunda Street, this is Canberra's only 'superclub' with it's large venue which was recently converted into a nightclub from an old cinema. Hosts the biggest names from interstate and the UK when they do come to town, plays mostly funky house music, crowd is mostly 18-25, reasonably friendly, bar and staff are good, bouncers are often not so friendly if they don't like your look or gender.
Mooseheads - on London Circuit, another Canberra institution, this place is popular with mostly uni students, footballers, and old alcoholics. Notorious pickup spot for young bogans, Top 40 commerical dance music, bar downstairs and dancefloor upstairs, seems to have been packed every weekend for at least the last ten years.
Cube - Canberra's only gay club, downstairs from the City Walk (near the merry-go-round), staff are friendly, like most gay clubs music is a mix between quality funky house and cheesy top 40 or harder dance. Plenty of attitude but most of it friendly. Bar is average, doorcharge usually $10 or less. It's ok if you are there with friends and pissed. Much cheesier and not as dark, interesting or mixed as the gay club Heaven was, which closed it's doors in the late 90s/early 2000's.
Toast - Probably the 'alternative' club of Canberra. Hard to find as it is nestled in a courtyard up and behind the Electric Shadows bookshop and Babar restaurant. But worth it as staff are friendly, door and bar prices cheap, music is mixed and caters to goths, emos, dance bunnies etc with both rock and dance nights. Owner is notorious, crazy and friendly. Huge drum'n'bass nights recently banned by hotel next door. Good vibe if you like things left-of-centre. Pool tables, arcade games and scene outside the club in the courtyard is often just as entertaining.
Shooters - Even trashier than Mooseheads, but the $2 drinks even get me in there sometimes. Otherwise, it's all footballers, fat chicks in tight dresses, and top 40 dance and retro played on video screens. A bit like a hen's and buck's night combined. Not pretty.
Other clubs in the vein of Mooseheads/Shooters include Nitro, Sultans, PJ O'Reilly's, King O'Malley's, In Blue etc all to be found along the trashier strips of the city (ie Sydney Building and around the bus interchange). There are many more but they change their names regularly - however they basically remain the same.
In Dickson, there is a cocktail bar called Trinity, it is expensive but really nice place, places to sit outside, delicous drinks, close to lots of good restaurants so ideal for drinks after dinner.
In Braddon near the city, Knightsbridge Penthouse is extremely funky and low-key, stylish patrons, friendly staff, very expensive drinks, great soul/disco/house music.
The Belgium Beer Cafe in Kingston has awesome food. Half price mussels on a Tuesday night, live music Thursday nights. The beer is excellent !!! Great place to relax and chat.