Newest Review: ... me and my friend went on to have a great night, dancing to a mixture of house, UK garage and R&B mixes, with plenty of room on the danceflo... more
The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful
Member Name: jacquelina
Date: 20/02/01, updated on 04/12/01 (293 review reads)
Advantages: Good music, not boring
Disadvantages: Pricey and some rude staff
Hmmm, where do I begin? I've been to Emporium 3 times in as many months, so it must be doing something right, but I will explain the ups and downs of this club by running through my 3 visits.
On my 1st trip to Emporium I was physically assaulted by a female member of the barstaff - I tried to use my switch card to pay for 2 vodka and lemonades, which came to £6. On the door (admission on Saturdays £15 females, £20 males) the staff had told me it was okay to pay for drinks on switch - neglecting to mention there was a £30 minimum charge. The crazy barwoman refused to return my card to me after she had poured the drinks, saying she would keep hold of it until I had spent £30. I politely told her to keep the drinks and give me back my card, which she refused to do. I asked her once again - at this point she reached across the bar, grabbed my hair (and my ears I think) and began viciously shaking my head, whilst shouting something I couldn't really hear. Thankfully, my female friend whom I was with noticed some helpless object flailing around out of the corner of her eye, and came to the rescue of both me and my card. She then complained to one of the bar managers, who brought us 2 free drinks. I don't even think the bartender was spoken to. When did it became acceptable for bartenders to assualt non-trouble causing punters and get away with it? Still, after that little 'episode' me and my friend went on to have a great night, dancing to a mixture of house, UK garage and R&B mixes, with plenty of room on the dancefloor, and lots of men looking at us admiringly (leering). We left at about 3am and the club was still busy.
The 2nd time myself and my flatmate went once again, and the evening passed without any set-to's. The crowd consisted mainly of the young and fashionable, with a couple of page 3 models and various first and second division footballers keeping the 'celeb' count up, and rather a lot of posing going on
. Having agreed to have a drink with a group of young men just to check out the VIP area, we were dissapointed to find it decidedly devoid of VIP''s. Again, the music was great, the podium dancers are good and the live percussionist lends a bit of extra cred to the slight tackiness of the place.
The 3rd time I went to Emporium it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were 6 of us going (3 couples), and as we had heard you could get a 2 course meal in the club restaurant for £25, which included the admission fee, we decided to go for that - it was my flatmates birthday. The table was booked for 10.30pm on a Sat night, though they told us we may have to wait at the bar for a while before we were seated. Unfortunately, for unavoidable reasons, 3 of us did not make it until 11.15pm. The staff on the door outside were fine, and the staff carrying out the compulsary searches were perfectly pleasant. The rudeness began when we were directed to someone or other who had obviously had a bad night and decided to take it out on the paying customers. I explained that we would be joining 3 of our party who were already seated, to be greeted with disbelief, and even a little contempt. "What?!" "You are going to the restaurant?!" "Now?!". I replied coolly 'Yes.' The guy stared at me, obviously thinking that his rudeness would cause me to become flustered and offer my profuse apologies for our lateness etc etc, but I didn't see why I should be polite to this nimrod when he could not extend me the same courtesy. Instead I held his gaze until he threw his hands in the air and dramatically announced in Basil Fawlty exaggerated style "This is madness!!!" . Oh please. Eventually, after this charming welcome, we were shown to our table, where I sat down feeling like a naughty schoolgirl.
The restaurant is next to the dancefloor, so for starters the ambience is all wrong - its very hard to savour the delights of gr
illed asparagus spears with hollandaise sauce when you've got dance music resonating from speakers just yards away from your table. Still, the music was excellent, and got better as the night progressed. The saxophonist playing in tune to the house music was a nice touch, despite the fact that he was drowned out slightly. One of our groups chicken starters was stone cold, and though it was replaced without question, an apology was obviously too much to ask for. The rest of the meal was ok, but not fantastic. For 6 of us, with 9 glasses of wine and 9 bottles of beer, the bill came to £240, with a ridiculous £30 service charge included.
I noticed that other diners arrived after us, and wondered if they'd been subjected to the same animosity as we had. But then it is the sort of the place where a bigger wallet and a shorter dress will give you the advantage over your fellow clubbers. It's just that sort of place. We had a great night after the meal, though other irritations included staff sweeping up fag ends around your feet as you are trying to dance, and going to the toilet and being told off by the eagle-eyed attendant if you step out of line/use too much looroll- whatever. If a human-size fly swat was ever invented it would be perfect for some of the Emporiums' staff. Oh, and there is a lack of seating if you tire of dancing / posing.
To sum it up, I'd say if you like dressing up and dancing to good music and doing the odd bit of posing ( or if you are one of those people who likes paying large amounts of cash to be 'disciplined' and the like), you'll probably be impressed with Emporium, but if you prefer less attitude and things a little bit more down-to-earth, give it a miss.