A TOUCH OF LAS VEGAS IN MELBOURNE
When it comes to nightlife, Melbourne is not lacking options.
However, by global standards, when it comes to boss-style nightlife, Melbourne comes up short.
Put simply, one would struggle to find a club in Melbourne that offers a ‘Vegas style’ night out. Tables and bottles of Grey Goose? It’s literally unheard of in Melbourne.
Well all that has changed with the opening of ‘The Emerson
’, on Commercial Road.
Built in 2013 at a cost of around AUD 12 million, and dubbed ‘A Playground for Adults’ – The Emerson aims to recreate the experience you would get from a club in London, NYC or Las Vegas.
After checking out the club on a recent Saturday night, we think they’ve done a pretty good job.
First and foremost, the layout of the club is fantastic. It’s really well designed and feels spacious and multi dimensional.
Comprising three floors, the ground floor encompasses a large bar with plenty of mingling space. The dance floor is towards the back of the club on this floor and the DJ sits right on the dance floor itself.
The middle ‘VIP’ floor consists of a large amount of seating areas / private booths with the key feature being that you can look down onto the dance floor.
And lastly, the third floor consists of the cocktail bar and roof terrace. The expansive terrace, with 360 degree views of Melbourne, is literally stunning.
The Emerson’s diverse layout reminded us of a Vegas style club such as Marquee or Pure, where you’re not limited to one style of night. If you’re feeling energetic – hit the dance floor. If you’re in a chilled out mood, head up to the roof terrace and enjoy the fantastic views over a cocktail.
One thing that really impressed us was the space inside the club. So many clubs simply get too crowded inside (think The Ivy in Sydney, or Hakkasan
Las Vegas). If you’re constantly getting pushed around by others and having drinks spilt on you, it’s not much fun at all. At Emerson, they seemed to get the mix between numbers and space just right. It was busy without being overly crowded – perfect.
It also offered a sophisticated crowd. Glamorous and well heeled, the club had obviously shown some discretion as to who was let in.
Which brings us to the point – The Emerson can be hard to get in to. We suggest arriving very early in a mixed group and looking sharp in order to guarantee entry. When we arrived at 8.30pm on a Saturday night, the queue was already formidable.
Once inside, to access the roof terrace you’ll have to give your name and number to one of the staff. They then text you when there’s space available up there for your party. It’s an interesting pattern, and a welcome change from the two-way traffic jam of people forcing their way up and down a stairwell in a disorganised herd.
Another unique feature is the fact that The Emerson offers bottle service.
Bottle service – prevalent in the US or London, is not common in Melbourne. Whether it will catch on is hard to tell.
What better way to celebrate a big night or entertain important clients, than having a VIP table with bottles of Grey Goose and Patron flowing?
The Emerson offers ‘Booth Packages’ – a selection of private booths available on each floor, in which you’ll receive your very own host / hostess for the evening and access to the extensive bottle service menu.
A minimum spend is required to secure a booth, which can be used on any combination of food and beverages.
The minimum spend amounts vary depending on the size of the table and what floor you choose, and are illustrated below:
Suitable for 10 guests: $1800
Cocktail lounge / VIP floor:
Suitable for 6 guests: $1100
Suitable for 12 guests: $2200
Suitable for 20 guests: $3300
Suitable for 10 guests:$1800
Suitable for 30 guests: $3000
These minimum spend amounts seem reasonable and are on par with what you might pay for a table in London.
But the big difference between The Emerson and other exclusive clubs worldwide – is that the bottles are actually very well priced, considering what you get for your minimum spend.
A bottle of Grey Goose will set you back just AUD $260. This means that once you have paid for the table – you’ll actually be getting quite a few drinks for your money.
Some sample bottle prices are below:
Veuve Cliquot – $140
Moet Chandon – $140
Belvedere – $240
Grey Goose – $260
Patron XO – $280
Compared to bottle service in a city like Las Vegas, these prices are great value. A bottle of Grey Goose in Vegas could cost easily cost you USD $800 and that’s before taxes and tips.
In terms of other prices – The Emerson is on par with other Melbourne establishments. A bottled beer is around $9 and a cocktail will set you back $19.
The food menu is also quite diverse and well priced with plenty of options in the $20-$30 area.
We were impressed by The Emerson. They’ve done a good job in creating a fun, sophisticated atmosphere that has added a new dimension to Melbourne nightlife. If you’re looking for a glamorous night out in Melbourne and you want to roll in style, check this place out.
Photos courtesy of theemerson.com.au and William Watts