The DownUnder bar & grill, Brisbane
Just a review for my own file...
The Australian Down Under Bar is where students and backpackers converge with most nights leading to raucous partying into the early hours.
With the bar situated under the heritage-listed Palace Backpackers building, locals have been known to suddenly disappear during the night only to be found the next day in one of the 350 hostel beds. They are usually suffering a hangover but have happily done their bit for improving Australian-international relations.
The venue doesn't go for fancy decor. Instead, it focuses on creating revelry through free kegs, weekly movie nights, games, and spontaneous cheap alcohol specials announced over booming loudspeakers.
Unfortunately, not every one is allowed into the venue - you must be card-carrying students or legitimate backpackers.
HOURS: Mon-Sun 12:00am-3:00am
Dress Code: Dressed at the beginning of the night... naked at the end ;-)
Located under Palace Central Backpackers, this is the sort of place I usually do my best to avoid! In fact, the only reason I even bothered to venture in there was 'cause I was skint and had free drinks vouchers! It's very loud, very crowded, very sweaty and overun with backpackers trying to get drunk. It's also a bit of a meat market, and you can guarantee that at some point in the evening one of the bar staff will get on the microphone and run some kind of competition for a lucky backpacker to win free drinks, a free meal or if they're very lucky a free day trip. However, it seems to work, as even though most people profess to hating the place, they still go back night after night during their stay in Brisbane! On a plus side, the drinks here are ludicrously cheap and there's no cover charge, they also serve food, although I never ate here. Music played is very predictable charty stuff, and there's lots of dancing. If you're looking for a very cheap night out, or to meet some foreigners (you certainly won't meet any locals here!) then it's worth a shot, but in my opinion there are plenty of better places to go out in Brisbane.
Dress Code: no special dress requirements
The city has mostly cheesy teeny nightclubs, although one bar, the Down Under Bar, has quite a bit of atmosphere. It also has a backpacker's next to it, and only backpackers and students are allowed in....but maybe this has changed. The Valley is definately worth a try...the Beat, the press club (which can be a bit choosy about who they let in) and the a few others in the area are a good start. Rick's is a bar with nice alternative music and is always popular. You can pop next door for food at any time of day.
The Beat is a gay bar, and has a dance troupe at 11pm or so and another at 2am I think...they are great fun to watch (downstairs bar). Upstairs tends to be a bit more ABBA.
Dress Code: Dress shiny and to dance!! No suits and ties, no RM Williams, don't button up your shirt too high. No sandshoes either! They want hip!
So after all of the reviews I read on this place, it sounded like a great place to meet singles, and have a wild, fun night out.
Unfortunately, my first night there, wasn't really as wild as people made it out to be...
Most of the people there, were there with a partner (their boyfriend, or girlfriend), and the guy/girl ratio was way out of balance for most of the night (it was a complete saussage fest, until about 12:30-1:30am).
After about 1am, a few more girls came in, and it wasn't so bad, but still, many of them were there with a partner already.
All in all, the place had nicer than average people there, and it was good to mingle with people of different cultures, all in one place.
The seats were nice, but the bar itself, was a bit average.
The dance floor definitely needs to be bigger! waaaay to crowded up there.
With all that said, this was on a Friday night, so there weren't any special events on (male strippers, girls night, wet t-shirt comps etc).
I'd imagine that the male stripper night, would bring allot more girls to the bar, so that might be worth attending.
while I would love to check out the wet t-shirt nights too, I have the feeling the overcrowding of hot stinky men, would probably outweigh the benefit of going that night lol... may as well go to a strip club...
As a last note, for those wondering if you need a student ID, I called them about this.
They said they only enforce the student ID's after about 10pm, so if you arrive before 10pm, you should be fine to get in without student ID.
Dress Code: The dress code is casual.
There were very few people there that were really dressed up.
I think this dress code adds to the laid back environment.
I don't think a majority of backpackers really take a whole lot of expensive dress with them anyway, when they travel lol...
If youre backpacking, you'll have heard of the DownUnder Bar way before getting to Brissy!
Its in the centre of town at the Palace backpackers. Its a big bar with a DJ, pool tables, a dance floor and food is served cheap. It closes around 3/4am and has a real good party atmosphere! You may need your passport to get in(or some form of ID).