The hangover: Sunshine Coast’s most legendary nightclubs
If foggy memories start to resurface when 50c drinks or hair that could touch the ceiling are mentioned, it could only mean one thing.
You were alive in the 70s to 80s and you weren't afraid to party.
The Daily has looked back at what it was like to let loose at Coast nightclubs during the golden period of music and fashion.
Journalist Eden Boyd may not be old enough to have seen these venues in their prime, but it's clear many good times were had inside the ancient (jokes!) walls of Coast clubs.
If you raised the roof at Rainbow Room, took too many shots at Tropo's or smooched a stranger at Secrets, this blast from the past is for you.
Tropo's Non Stop Rock
What started as a small hotel in the late 30s became a fully-fledged entertainment hotspot with a long legacy to follow.
The original two-storey hotel was built in 1938 along the Esplanade and underwent several changes throughout the years.
The hotel opened Club Mooloolaba, affectionately known as Club Mud, in the early 80s and was the first real night-life venue in the area.
It was ultimately changed to Tropo's Non Stop Rock in the late 80s and the downstairs bar, Canoe Club, also became a piece of the puzzle.
Tropo's very own, born and bred Coast local Ashley Robinson, has fond memories of his time there.
A joint that would have held about 200 people legally was packed to the brim with more than 500 punters each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
"Tropo's was one of those places where your feet stuck to the floor with the spilt drinks, and of course the low ceilings and everyone smoking back in the day, it wasn't the healthiest place to be, but it certainly was interesting," Mr Robinson said.
Plenty of wild nights were had at Tropo's but one in particular stood out to Mr Robinson.
Four NRL teams had played trial games in Coolum and dozens of footy players looking for a good time were disappointed to find the local venue would shut at midnight.
None other than Alfie Langer made the call to check out Tropo's just before the clock struck 12am.
"So they hired all these limos and cabs and all of a sudden at 12.30am, if you can imagine that, about 80 NRL players and their entourage turned up at Tropo's, closely followed by the media who were all waiting outside for something to happen," Mr Robinson said.
"That was pretty exciting for everyone that was in the building at the time because all of a sudden all these superstars came in, and not 10 of them, about 80 of them."
Unfortunately Tropo's hosted its last partygoers in 1997 before the whole establishment was demolished.
Mantra Mooloolaba Beach and businesses are now located where the venue once thrived.
Good Time Charlies
If you were out in Mooloolaba and not at Tropo's, chances are you were at Good Time Charlies.
Located upstairs in a building along the Esplanade, the late and great John Douglas brought the bustling club to the Coast in the 80s.
Some remembered the floor that would light up and others recalled sneaking in for their first night on the town at the ripe old age of 14.
Watching the sunrise and returning home at 6am after a night of cutting loose was also not unheard of.
Candy Shack, Rock On, Secrets 2000 and Horizons
After Good Time Charlies came a procession of clubs all searching to keep Mooloolaba's night-life well and truly alive.
The order in which each venue opened and inevitably played its last tune is a little blurry, but the regulars kept coming back to the same Esplanade hotspot.
It's understood Secrets 2000 made its mark after the well-known Peter Bell moved the Maroochydore club under the same name to its new location.
Mr Robinson said the Mooloolaba clubs remained successful for many years but ultimately met their demise due to developments in the area.
"One of the things that kills entertainment on the Coast is people building residential buildings besides licensed premises and then complaining about the noise," he said.
"That's basically what finished off Tropo's, was the units up the road."
Bar 240V was the last name given to the Esplanade haunt before it sadly served its last drink for good in 2011.
Raw Group director Clayton Williams launched the business about eight years prior and it remained Mooloolaba's last remaining independent nightclub.
At the time, Mr Williams said he blamed the venue's closure largely on Woolworths' and Coles' growing ownership of other entertainment spots on the Coast, such as Pub Mooloolaba and O'Malley's Irish Pub.
The ghost of nightclubs past is all that is left of the venue along the busy strip, with buildings like Sea Pearl Resort now in its place.
Just a quick 10 minute walk into Mooloolaba and you arrived at another club where memories were made (or drunkenly forgotten).
Fridays opened within popular entertainment landmark The Wharf in the 80s and it quickly became a favourite venue.
Mr Robinson joked of the friendly competition between the newer establishment and Tropo's back in the day.
"We always used to say, because they were sort of arch rivals between us and them, that it was like trying to race a Ferrari with an old Holden," he said.
"Because the Mooloolaba Hotel was so old, and Fridays was so new, but we managed to always hold our own."
Fridays remained at Parkyn Parade for many years before it was later renamed The Helm and then transformed into The Savvy Squire.
Another Peter Bell specialty, the Rainbow Room was open seven days a week and guaranteed a good night out.
Originally known as Smuggler's Cove, the Mooloolaba club was booming in the 80s and was located underground.
Its exact whereabouts seems to be highly-debated but the venue should not be confused with a second Rainbow Room club in Caloundra.
At the end of the rainbow came another pot of gold known as Club Elite.
It's understood Mr Bell continued his reign over the nightclub when it changed its name and staff have spoken fondly of their time behind the bar in the 90s.
Locals were known to take advantage of a free courtesy bus that ran between Club Elite and Mr Bell's Maroochydore venue, Secrets.
That was until it became clear that partygoers would also venture elsewhere in Mooloolaba's entertainment precinct.
The hair and wardrobe choices may have been questionable but everyone belonged at this popular club.
My Place was owned by David Short in the 80s.
Coast residents of all ages have a vague story to share on their years at the Maroochydore venue but one thing was clear: if you actually remember partying My Place, you weren't doing it right.
Live music was popular across the region and as Mr Robinson put it, noise restrictions weren't given the greatest priority.
"I can remember doing security for bands like the Screaming Jets and the Angels, and you're standing right beside the speakers on the stage," he said.
"No wonder we're all deaf."
The famous flaming Lamborghini cocktail kept regulars coming back to the First Avenue spot.
It may have been called Secrets but the Maroochydore haunt was certainly no confidential venue.
Rumour has it Mr Bell took over the First Avenue club and renamed it in the 90s after its previous life as My Place.
The drinks were sold for eye watering prices: a pot of beer or basic spirit would put you a dollar or two out-of-pocket.
Mr Robinson said a venue like Secrets was known to host celebrities from time to time as bands would play at different spots on the Coast.
"Ninety-nine per cent of the time when they finished their gig they ended up at a nightclub," he said.
"That was always exciting, you never knew who was going to show up."
Factory: The Project
The dining, live music and nightclub venue had a short life at the Sunshine Plaza after it closed its doors within just 14 months.
Owners of the popular cafe The Velo Project at Mooloolaba opened the entertainment hub in November 2013 but Mr Robinson said it was doomed from the start.
"That venue has never, ever worked (at the Plaza)," he said.
Factory: The Project was embroiled in a high-profile court case spanning almost three years after three men were accused of manslaughter which led to the death of Wayne Dover outside the club.
A popular Aussie rules player, Mr Dover was remembered as a big-hearted businessman who was dedicated to serving the Sunshine Coast community.
The Maroochydore club closed in February 2015 and owners at the time said the venue was struggling to compete with the power of The Helm.
The Sunshine Plaza venue then became Riverside Sport Bar and Restaurant and Level 2 Nightclub in late 2015.
ALEXANDRA HEADLAND CLUBS:
The stars had aligned for this club to make its mark in Alexandra Headland.
The venue was established when Roy Thompson bought a hotel in Gympie and transferred the licence to the beachfront at Alexandra Headland in the early 70s.
He built Chifley's Hotel which became one of the top hotels in regional Queensland, before selling it to Stewart's Hotels Group in the late 70s.
It then was known as Stewart's Alexandra Hotel and the venue soon hosted partygoers at the Galaxy Night Spot after its opening in 1985.
Allan and Chris Carroll entertained the younger clientele with disco and live bands at the Alexandra Parade club for many years.
Caesar's Palace, Empire Nightclub, Rainbow Room
While a strong night-life presence was found in the centre of the region, those from down south could still enjoy the 80s in style.
Mr Robinson said the venue located at 66 Bulcock Street in Caloundra underwent several changes in the years it operated as a club.
"It had a heap of different names," he said.
"They were all just resurrected, changing names. They were all the same spots."
It's understood Caesar's Palace was one of the first to open in 1992.
A second Rainbow Room was also opened during its many lives as a club, fondly remembered by locals as the Romper Room.
Blue Martini, Upstairs Nightclub, Tonic Lounge, Liquid Nightclub
The Bulcock Street spot would be remembered in recent times as one of the above iterations, but the clubbing scene never took off in Caloundra.
It's understood Blue Martini was opened circa 2013 while Upstairs Nightclub made its debut in late 2014.
Tonic Lounge made its mark next before a deal was struck with the owners of the site and a would-be nightclub owner on a lease of the premises.
Sadly the venue never gained traction and ended the decades-long tradition of partying at the Caloundra spot.
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