It’s Friday night and everyone's feeling all right at The Trocadero Room. Enmore’s new bar and band room has been open for mere hours but the place is already heaving, and the slushie machine is churning out frozen Midori Illusions like they’re going out of style.
The scene feels like King Cross in its electroclash heyday, before the lockout laws killed the clubs, the boozy teapots, and the incubator for Sydney’s upcoming bands and DJs. Pasan Wijesena (who’s also behind Jacoby’s next door and Earl’s Juke Joint on King Street) wants The Troc to reinstate some of that old Sydney magic.
“I remember going to venues like The Hopetoun and The Annandale on a night where you didn’t actually know who was playing, but you’d pay 10 bucks to see a couple of bands anyway. Having that kind of environment around was really cool and inspired so much creativity in other areas.”
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Burlesque, comedy, punk, improv jazz and overseas touring acts – you name it, The Troc will host it. And now that the Inner West Council has greenlit Enmore Road as a special entertainment precinct, it’ll be somewhere for 200 people to boogie on the strip until 3am.
“We’re trying to rebuild that late-night hospo thing as well. Finish your shift, head down there for a drink and a dance,” says Wijesena.
The venue is part one of a double-header to be unveiled by the team, which also includes Cliff Dive’s Russell Martin, plus Jacoby’s general manager Sam Pinneri and alum Dan Hunt. Before Christmas they’ll open The Magpie in the same space, a neighbourhood micro-pub inspired by classic Aussie sports bars.
“We’ll have the live music venue in the back and then Jacoby’s next door,” says Wijesena. “Hopefully it creates a little bit of an ecosystem where people can float between venues.”
One look at the banging cocktail list here tells you who’s involved. If you can get past that frozen Midori Illusion (we couldn’t), there’s a frozen Negroni churned with orange juice, and a Cosmopolitan if you’re channelling Carrie Bradshaw post-Big on a Saturday night. Think “fun, daggy disco drinks”, but elevated and served at speed.
And if you’re wondering ‘what even is a Trocadero?’, it’s the name of a legendary Newtown music hall and roller rink that ruled on north King Street at the turn of the 20th century. Sans skates, the modern-day incarnation pays tribute to yesteryear with a crystal chandelier above the stage, bankers’ lamps at the bar and a pair of disco balls to boogie under. Your new favourite band might be the soundtrack. Long live The Troc.
The Trocadero Room
156 Enmore Road, Enmore