interesting affair, but being their opening night we have to remember to cut them some slack.
The crowd was a bit of a mix, with some very young groups and also the remnants of Victor's previous White Charlie heyday crowd, it was good to see a couple of familiar faces and the venue itself is absolute class.
The highlights were the sponsorship by Absolute Vodka, who did a fabulous job running the night, adding lighting and promo girls and turning the venue blue. There were some blue Absolute cocktails floating around, but we didn't manage to see any as the teeny boppers that somehow made it into the event were stalking the wait staff around like it was tight arse Tuesday. Haha.
Decor wise, the club is very interesting and once it's at capacity will be a pumping venue . The building used to be home to Pretty Please which was a favourite of mine on its 'Red Heart' Fridays ran by George Christoudias and also for mellow and discreet drinks after Barkly on Sundays.
Upstairs was definitely the winner, with another bar and large dance floor, my favourite part was the plush Upper Manhattan decor with it's lush private booths that actually do give you some privacy.
There were other things that can be put down to opening night jitters by organisers and bar staff. Their signature cocktail 'Flowering Manhattan' that I was so looking forward to tasting couldn't be made that night according to our bartender. Disappointed but understanding I ordered a glass of Champagne, to be told that they'd run out and only had sparkling white wine. Not a huge issue, except for the fact that it was only 9.30pm. There must have been some very happy person drunk on Moet if they'd managed to drink the bar dry already! Extremely jealous of whoever that was! So I considered it a sign from above, figured that I shouldn't be drinking anyway and ordered something non alcoholic. I was going to wake up so fresh! I couldn't help but exchange a look with my partner in crime when we watched the poor bartender pour and discard two drinks, and third time lucky presenting me with my very complicated order of soda water and lime.
Something must also be said for the music upstairs, I wasn't aware that it was a flashback night to 2007 but the beats certainly had as confused! The DJ didn't do any real mixing to the songs, in fact I think he dusted off my old high school cd collection and did a lucky dip! My expectation was smooth, modern RnB tunes and what we got was Khia, 'My neck, my back'- I cringed when this came on, even more when people started to grind on the dance floor. At least we know who all the blue cocktails and Moet went to! As 50Cent P.I.M.P came on we took that as our cue to leave.
Overall it was a fun and eventful evening- I'd certainly recommend Manhattan Lounge for functions, as the upstairs layout is perfect for private groups. As a general night spot I'd suggest it for anybody wanting a bit of a loose night out as there was certainly no pretentiousness. Personally I'll be waiting a few weeks to let them get on their feet properly before trying it out for round two, and I'd need written consent that the music had improved!
Now I'm getting ready for tonight's launch of the Emerson in South Yarra, fingers crossed they've stocked up on the Champagne! I'll keep you updated on what to expect from another exciting new Melbourne venue.