Had heard a lot about the Cardigan Bar and was pumped to be finally able to go and see what it was all about!
Parking was a little difficult – no parking outside venue but there were parks around the corner and up a bit and also across the road at the Sandgate Train Station. Bit hard for those with disability needs but flat walking so could be worse.
Pavement area has a small number of tables and chairs available for patrons and these were full when we arrived (Sat. night).
We entered the foyer area which encompasses a bar on the left and a drinking shelf along the right wall with standing room only between the two. It was easy to get through although later in the night perhaps not so.
As the left bar area ends the room opens up into an eccentric mix of tables from retro times and bench seating placed along the wall…all sorts of bench seating just butted up against each other with a few scatter cushions on the wooden ones. Still running on part of the right side is the drinking shelf.
The bench seating was 3/4 full of patrons and the ambiance was great…everyone was happy and I noted how warm the room was given that there were no heaters on.
The main room is decorated in a mix of eclectic, nostalgic and eccentric styling which really added to my overall view of the venue itself. Scenery painted on the wall behind the bench seating, lamps complete with various era’s of shades mounted from the roof and a couple of big fans on the wall which also looked retro in styling. What I really liked best on the night was the fact that the bathroom had no mirror in it and these guys had thought to paint in the rectangle and include the words “You Look Great”…!!!
For the artists – not much room to setup and no stage area. You also need to provide your own equipment. I would not recommend any more than a trio in this space and then that is at a push (see pics below). Much more suited to a duo or solo performance.
The down side here for a trio at least is that the doorway to the bathroom is behind the performance area and although he took it in his stride the bassist on the night needed to move backward and forward to let people through.
The sound in the room was great and everyone got up to get their groove on in the middle of the main room which doubles as a dance floor. Although I was seated on the bench seats I didn’t feel in threat of any stray limbs or feet from those dancing.
Patronage wise I noted an older audience in the range of probably late 20’s to 60ish…at the beginning of the night it was quite full and then waned and then another sudden burst of patrons who wanted to rock on well into the night. I was told that when the Full Moon up the road closes all their patrons wander down to the Cardigan. The Cardigan is licensed until 12 midnight.
I’d happily revisit this venue – 8/10.