There’s a certain right of passage that comes along with the first time a young lady enters the Eastern Suburb’s Club Dakota. The legend of the land warns any naive Nancy that upon exiting the dark dungeons of one of Melbourne’s most iconic suburban venues, she will no longer be who she once was before. I see a seventeen year old flash the ID of her older, hardly identical sister, and feel that warning her of the prophecy that awaits her would be to hinder the learning curve. A few unwanted grabs and face sucks later, and this innocent soul would be part of Dakota’s army of underground uber skanks. Thankfully I have been here before, ทางเข้าจีคลับ and although I admit to the metamorphosis of innocence to irksome skankiness, I’m happy to report a full recovery. Upon returning to Ringwood’s Club Dakota, I see that the rites of passage from yesteryear are still operating according to prophecy.
Although the naivety crunching naughtiness of Club Dakota (or ‘Daks’ as so many of the Ringwood-ites endearingly call the venue) is still apparent, the first distinct difference I notice upon entrance is the now mammoth and ever winding line up, which almost takes me back to the train station I so swifltly exited. “Nice skirt girly!”, thank you Man Who Lives Near The Station. As I make my way to an enormous line up along Ringwood’s ‘club strip’ I’m sure what the MWLNTS loved about said skirt was less about the skirt and more about a lack thereof. It seems a surge in popularity has ensued since my last visit. I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more… to get to the end of the line at Dakota.
The entry fee of a mere $5 is a pleasant perk to any club goer who is accustomed with prices of city club entrances. As I hear my Aunty’s voice clearly in my ear, “You get what you pay for!”, I look around and notice that the demographic of the club is a little more trash and a little less trend.
In saying this, Club Dakota provides a comfortable underground atmosphere for even the most apprehensive youth. The front room bar is located immediately upon entrance, and provides a full circle service, where you can shout out for another shot of vodka from any given angle of the room.
Upon making my way to the stage, I notice that the multiple barred cages for the young and the restless to dance in are still a hit. I glance in between the bars of the cage to my left and notice the seventeen year old from earlier. Her face seems to be joint to the boy sharing the cage with her, just as his hand is so aptly attached to her arse. You have fulfilled the prophecy and come so far, young one. I’d buy you a drink to celebrate your coming of age, but you’re already holding three.
The front stage boasts a regular band every week, playing covers of both old and new mainstream hits in between DJ sets of Usher and Lady Gaga. Maybe I should pop into the bathroom and take off my pants? Oops, the girl to my right beat me to it.