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Nightspots for grown-ups?

By jackofall - 7 September 2009 50

Hi – we’re new to Canberra and would like to know the best nightclubs/bars etc for grown-ups – ie: we’re over 30. 

Looking for a good atmosphere, live music, but where you can still have a conversation – if such a place exists.

Thanks in advance for any practical advice.

What’s Your opinion?

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50 Responses to
Nightspots for grown-ups?
bloodnut 10:47 am 08 Sep 09

Being over 30 I don’t go out, but Parlour – to my limited understanding – fits the bill.

ahappychappy 10:33 am 08 Sep 09

Or you could go mingle with the cougars and mack-daddys over at Galaxy at the Casino.
Always good for a chuckle.

Les Lozenger 10:26 am 08 Sep 09

Thumper is definately on the mark. It depends on what kind of music you want i.e originals, covers, Rock, or folk or anything louder softer or in between).

Secondly, The Wig n Pen is sadly no longer a live music venue and hasn’t been for at least 7 seven years (unless they’ve started up again?). Nor is Tilleys (correct me if i’m wrong, but having an interstate act play once a month doesn’t earn it the title of being a real live venue in my opinion). It’s a beautiful relaxed place but they do charge far too much for a warm VB.

King O’malleys (canb city)claims to have the best bands in town. Maybe the best covers bands but it’s not a dedicated originals venue.

If you really do like your music, then I’d suggest paying attention to what’s on at:

The Phoenix (City CBD)- Free entry, live original music on at least wed and sat nights (Folk, Rock, pop, Gypsy etc etc and even hard Rock / Metal on rarer occasions.

The Potbelly (weedon Cl, Belconnen)- generally a maximum of $5 cover charge (free on open mic night)with all original genre’s as listed above playing on thurs nights (open mic jam sessions), Fri Nights, Sat Nights and the occasional Sun eve show. It’s bigger than the Phoenix so it’s a more balanced blend of soft acoustic and loud Rock.

The Basement (cohen St, Belconnen)- generally a $10 entry but maybe expect to pay a little more for touring acts. Original Music , mainly hard rock and metal from both local and touring acts. A big room with a big PA.

The Front (wattle St Lyneham)- Haven’t been there yet but have heard it’s small but a cool place. More of an acoustic venue I’m told (correct me if I’m wrong).

The ANU (Aust National University, Acton)- Bigger touring acts of all genres and occasionally local shows. Cover charge varies greatly and it’s obviously more of a student crowd. or

Bar 32 (Northbourne Ave, Canb City) – occasional local original bands on sat or thurs nights. small room, reasonable cover charge, but more of a student crowd.

Transit Bar – (Akuna St, Canb City) free entry with lots of DJ’s and the occasional live original music from touring and local bands.

Furthermore, the following is a list of good gig guides and info:

BMA mag (our local street press)or visit
culturazi – (you can subscribe and recieve weekly gig guide emails.
Fasterlouder- – you can subscribe here to recieve daily gig guide notices (on the weekdays of your choice)

Hope this helps. If i’m wrong on anything here, please correct me anyone. Then again, i know you will anyway. We are on Riot Act after all.


Jim Jones 10:12 am 08 Sep 09

Skidd Marx said :

It’s encouraging to know that some 30+’ers still have the urge to go out and get pi$$ed. All my crowd seems to ever want to do is host dinner parties where they can critique red wine whilst listening to Norah Jones.

Green square would be a good starting pint.

I’m distinctly 30+ and I spend more time at metal and punk gigs that anything else … occasionally some jazz when the good stuff comes through.

I’ve always found the Basement to be a friendly joint.

Skidd Marx 9:52 am 08 Sep 09

It’s encouraging to know that some 30+’ers still have the urge to go out and get pi$$ed. All my crowd seems to ever want to do is host dinner parties where they can critique red wine whilst listening to Norah Jones.

Green square would be a good starting pint.

seekay 9:30 am 08 Sep 09

Sydney’s not too far away.

Special G 8:32 am 08 Sep 09

Tongue and Groove in Civic is not letting under 18 yr olds in anymore so you could try there. Older Civic crowd, prices are up a bit deliberately to keep out the younger just wanna get pissed crowd.

Wood duck Inn in Hall is another little pub.

Keep an eye on the Front in Lyneham for live music as well.

busgirl 8:31 am 08 Sep 09

Tilley’s Devine Cafe

Up The Duffy 1:37 am 08 Sep 09

HUSH +1 (GLBTI) rather it stayed that way too, “There is Club land for the hetero’s”

Pandy 11:09 pm 07 Sep 09

HUSH in Phillip

p1 10:54 pm 07 Sep 09

I feel pretty happy with Thumper’s wrap up. As someone who doesn’t often venture far from my regular, that list is perfect.

jackofall 10:47 pm 07 Sep 09

Thanks Thumper – very helpful!

mred 10:45 pm 07 Sep 09

Before my little ones came along, I used to enjoy a night at Debacle (Braddon) a lot.

Piratemonkey 10:44 pm 07 Sep 09


Thumper 9:19 pm 07 Sep 09

Phoenix in Civic if you after good, original live music in a comfortable, if cramped venue.

George Harcourt at Goldcreek is another for good beer and a good atmosphere. My favourite pub.

Pot Belly in Belconnen is another although a little run down these days. Still comfortable and and a nice place.

Wig and Pen in civic, although recently having an unfortunate episode with some readers on this site, is also a pretty good pub if you like your beers.

Durham Arms in Kingston is another with a good atmosphere and good cover bands.

Filthy Mcfaddens in Kigston is another quaint, interesting and comfortable place, although I think they’re not doing live music any more, sadly, as it was a great venue to play.

I’m not sure about more upmarket places as i don’t really like them. However, check out everything, who knows, plenty of good places here.

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