Today we take a look behind the scenes at Evie’s Disco Diner, Gertrude Street’s newest 1980s-loving, vegan-friendly, disco yoga-hosting, event hot-spot and bar. There’s a lot going on, but this cheeky good time venue is also a cohesive one. And in a Venuemob exclusive, the team at Evie’s is offering end of year events 20% off the their total spend.
Our collective love of the 1980s just doesn’t seem like it’ll ever go away. Nor should it; the bright colours, the unashamed embrace of the gaudy and cheesy, the OTT clothing and general approach to life – what’s not to love? And for Wayne Markus, the brains behind Fitzroy newbie, Evie’s Disco Diner, his favourite decade was a sure enough bet for his new venue’s aesthetic.
Those who know Gertrude Street will notice Evie’s Disco Diner inhabits what used to be the Beach Burrito Co. And while the previous space featured a skate bowl and an ’80s skater aesthetic, Evie’s has transported the venue into a different 80s landscape.
“I was a big fan of the space,” says Markus, “and I knew that I wanted to take the best bits and embellish it.”
Inside the space is all whites, blacks, loud pinks and bright blues, with splashes of neon and greenery. The slightly-too-small-to-function skate bowl has been filled in with concrete, to completely open up the space.
The new dance floor now nods to its previous inhabitant, painted blue to represent a pool, with black and white checks around its perimeter and ‘AQUA PROFONDA’ (a reference to local institution, the Fitzroy pool) printed across it.
Evie’s Disco Diner is filled with winks and ironic references – as you’d expect from an ‘80s-loving venue – albeit with a modern northside-Melbourne sensibility. The jukebox for instance, is filled not with individual songs, but CDs containing hour-long mixes curated by Wayne’s DJ friends. Sporting names like ‘cosmic cheese plate’ and ‘sloth boogie’, you know you’re in for a good sesh on the dance floor.
That mix of sincere fun, modern irony, and pop culture references extends to the events schedule at Evie’s. Stranger Things and Broad City trivia sits alongside Eurovision screening parties (and karaoke), monthly markets, disco yoga, go-go dancing classes and regular queer disco nights.
“We really want to do something different.” says Wayne.
And it is different, especially from Wayne’s previous venue, The Wilde. If that Gertrude Street spot was well-loved for being cosy, intimate and low-key (“we didn’t even have a sign for months!”), then this new one will be for delightfully contrasting reasons. It’s loud, cheeky, and ready to dance. In fact, the Evie’s exterior has been painted entirely in pink and cobalt blue, and the sound system is nightclub quality.
Wayne’s approach to functions however, has stayed largely the same. This – and this is a hot tip coming to you – should please those planning a birthday, or a casual EOFY or end of year office celebration.
Knowing full well that large minimum spends can be daunting to a first-time or inexperienced party planner, Evie’s Disco Diner has dispensed with minimum spend requirements for events.
“I’ve found that if you say ‘it’s $2,000 to use the space’, people can be put off. But in reality, if someone brings a group of friends and they have a great time, they’ll end up spending that much over the course of the night anyway.”
The team have even dispensed with rigid beverage packages, figuring that they often lock party-goers into an uninspiring and small selection of beers, wines and spirits. And that’s no fun.
“Groups use the mezzanine, we give them a discount on drink prices with a bar tab, and we don’t lock them into a beverage package. It works really, really well.”
For groups up to 80 guests, the mezzanine is ideal – it even features a private bar. For a smaller posse ready to dance, the pool dance floor can be hired. And for large-scale celebrations? The entire venue can be utilised exclusively.
Food-wise, chances are 1980s disco menus likely didn’t feature quite as many delicious vegan options as this modern-day Gertrude Street venue.
Half of Evie’s Disco Diner is just that, with vegan ‘fried chicken’ right alongside the non-vegan version. The menu is a nod to the venue’s eponymous diner, filled with onion rings, hot wings, jalapeño poppers and blueberry pie.
It’s an ideal spot for birthdays, and also for corporates and creatives on the hunt for a spot to celebrate – one that’s a little different to the local watering hole they’d be at on a regular Friday.
The raucous vibes at Evie’s also presents end of year celebrations with unique ways to break the ice and get the party started – especially if you’re part of a small group looking for a large celebration.
“Trivia, or even drag trivia, can be a great way to start the night. After that, groups can use the pool area as a semi-exclusive space.”
The Evie’s Disco Diner is something of a hub of eclectic and fun-loving activity, and rightly so – there’s plenty of space, and the vibes are top notch, whether for a casual Friday bev or a rollicking birthday celebration upstairs. End of year party planners of the inner north take note: Evie’s Disco Diner is offering Venuemob customers 20% off their total spend, for events held between 16 November and 23 December this year. Time to get planning, and time to make sure your end of year party’s one to remember!
Ready to celebrate a birthday or the end of the financial year? Or the fact that it’s the weekend? Evie’s Disco Diner is available for functions, large and small >>