Tamlyn discovered she didn't have to be a groupie to enjoy Dux Live.
Dux Live is known mainly as a live-music venue, but it's also a good option for a couple of drinks with friends and you don't have to be a music guru to enjoy the atmosphere.
It offers a fully stocked bar with a variety of beers, wine, cocktails and even top-notch bubbles, if you're celebrating. The range of seating options includes a heated outdoor section, a few tables and chairs at the edge of the dance floor and a mezzanine level. That means whether you're just after a quiet beer, or you're there for loud music and burning off some energy on the dance floor, you'll find your place. Even the decor is eclectic, ranging from gilt-framed oil paintings upstairs to black-and-white photographs of the Beatles and David Bowie in the ladies' loo.
Arriving at Dux Live (just behind New York Deli on Lincoln Rd) about 8pm on a Friday, we beat the rush and find parking easily enough.
We order beers at the bar - a Nor'wester for me ($7.50 for 425ml) and a Ginger Tom ($7 for 425ml) for hubby.
There's a decent selection of menu options - from pizzas ($16-$21) to yakitori ($8-$10 for two skewers, or $14-$18 with side dishes and dressings), as well as standard bar fare ($8-$19). Tempted by the bar-snacks menu, we order nachos ($17) before heading upstairs to the mezzanine floor.
Mildly concerned we might be the oldest people there, I am keen to sit in a dimly lit spot where the laugh lines won't show, but am relieved to see the mix of people there: a group of corporate types lingering over after-work drinks, a table of "ladies' night" 30-somethings, and even a middle-aged couple who look like they are ready to kick off their shoes and dance.
We spot a set of leather couches in a corner and head over.
After we've taken a couple of large-ish sips of our beers (Nor'wester delicious, Ginger Tom spicy - both worth going back for), a bartender arrives bearing our nachos, making hungry heads swivel our way. We tuck in. Nearby, an envious-looking couple with dreadlocks watch us munching away and eventually order some of their own.
The Dux Live website has a gig guide, which is worth checking out so you know what to expect and whether there will be a cover charge or not.
By about 10pm, the bar has filled up with a younger crowd. A hard-rock band that has been doing intermittent sound checks since our arrival finally starts playing for real. Within minutes, the dance floor is full, and all the bar stools along the edge of the mezzanine floor are taken.
As for we reasonably responsible 30-somethings, we decide to leave when the music makes it difficult to hear each other speak, but not before we finish a second round of beers and haggle over the last salsa-slathered corn chip.
Where: 363 Lincoln Rd.