Newtown's Highly Anticipated New Underground Live Music and Cocktail Bar Is Finally Opening in February

The Odd Culture Group is opening Pleasure Club just off King Street — with a 4am license and cocktails from Re's Matt Whiley.
Ben Hansen
February 01, 2024

A boundary-pushing new venue is set to arrive in Newtown in February after more than a year of anticipation. Pleasure Club will arrive beneath King Street on Friday, February 23, hitting the Inner West with cocktail and entertainment programs to rival the city's best.

The bustling basement bar comes from Odd Culture Group, the hospitality team behind the likes of The Duke of Enmore, The Old Fitz and its namesake bar. The space has been granted the first 4am license issued in Newtown in 100 years, and will feature a live music and performance lineup that the team promises will be a bastion of creativity and inclusiveness in this city.

Adding to the excitement, there will be a creative drinks program crafted in tandem with innovator Matt Whiley (Re-, ex-Scout) and Creative Beverage Lead and General Manager Sam Kirk (Jacksons on George, The Coldroom).

King Street, Cassandra Hannagan

"We want to change the way we perceive and interact with late-night experiences in Sydney," says Odd Culture Group Creative Director Nick Zavadszky.

"After so many years of control and limitations, Pleasure Club is our creative vessel  — a pocket dimension of all the weird and wonderful shit we like to celebrate. It exists to provide connection, escapism from the world above, and give Sydney a safe and inclusive space to enjoy late nights."

Whiley and Kirk will lead an in-venue cocktail lab at Pleasure Club. The pair, who previously worked together at Whiley's acclaimed London venues The Talented Mr Fox and Peg + Patriot, will conceptualise seasonal cocktail programs built on themes and stories. Expect these lists to colour outside the lines, starting with the opening lineup of drinks branded Nostalgia Machine.

Cocktail at Matt Whiley's Re-

"Our first menu will be a new take on Australiana that you wouldn't have seen or experienced before, not necessarily relying on Australian native ingredients or only Australian products to convey a story," says Kirk.

"The cool thing is, with the lab equipment we have, we can create anything without any limits, and the team is letting their imaginations run wild," adds Whiley.

These exciting mixed drinks will be part of a wider drinks menu with a little something for everyone — and will accompany the equally innovative slate of entertainment. Visitors can expect everything from stripped-back acoustic sets and twisty jazz performances to live theatre and plenty of fast, loud rock.

The Duke of Enmore

"Crafting the entertainment experience at Pleasure Club has felt akin to curating the art inside a grand museum," says Entertainment Manager Sabrina Medcalf.

"Art defies convention (or at least the best art should) — it's immersive, experimental, subjective, confronting and stirs something in you, which is everything the Pleasure Club entertainment bill seeks to offer. Surrender to your primal instincts, embrace the allure of sin, and revel in the celebration of the unique and unconventional. When that curtain opens, expect the unexpected."

If this all sounds like a lot, it is — but that's the most exciting thing about this new venue from one of Sydney's most passionate hospitality crews. You'll just have to wait until Friday, February 23 to experience everything Pleasure Club has to offer for yourself.

Hot Mess Party at Odd Culture Group's now-closed Oxford Tavern

Pleasure Club will open at 6 Wilson Street, Newtown on Friday, February 23. It will operate from 4pm–4am Wednesday–Sunday. To stay up to date with everything happening at the venue, follow the bar's Instagram account.

Top image: Christopher Pearce

Published on February 01, 2024 by Ben Hansen
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