Driving into the seemingly barren Lauderdale Street you'll soon notice the dense line that extends from the doors of Empire Club. Having first opened on May 1st, this club is already immensely popular; so be sure to bring a coat as the time it can take from the back to the front of the line can be quite lengthy, to say the least.
Once inside it's easy to see why Empire is worth the delay. This club is Narre Warren's answer to the exciting clubbing experience that Melbourne's inner city is renowned for. With an 800 person capacity, the venue is more spacious than many other nightclubs in the city. It has a large dance floor with booths situated amongst the action to rest your beaten heels and to yell over the music. Two bars on either side of the venue (three if you count the cosy bar in the VIP section) are a convenient feature as they eliminate the bottlenecked frenzy to order a drink – a necessary evil in many other high capacity clubs. Empire caters perfectly for a convenience that guarantees you a great night.
Their neon-lighted catchphrase (one of many) set high against the wall that reads "…ended up at Empire" may tell you everything you need to know about the nature of the club: a quick regular for locals that don't want to travel too far. Empire has an electric and energised atmosphere that will make it impossible to sit still. It is up to date with social media trends with their hashtag #burbsdoitbetter, and their slogan-filled walls.
The DJs were upon a platform that faced the dance floor, emphasising the performance aspect to the music. A large screen dominated the front wall behind the DJs that set an electronic vibe with its semblance of windows media music artwork. They played a well-balanced mixture of classic anthems alongside house. For the most part the music was fantastically danceable and assured that you were singing until you were left voiceless. For me, this is more literal than I'd like to admit. However, there were a few hits and misses, and then some more misses with several awkward pauses and mismatched tempos.
Overall, Empire is a wonderful nightclub that promises a great night out and their minor issues are sure to improve over time. Empire is open on Thursdays to Saturdays from 8pm to 3am. Driving is also advisable to avoid an inflated suburban cab fare.