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CLUB SCENE : Rock Night at Down Under Digs

October 14, 1994|CHERIE SAUNDERS

"KNAC Night" debuted Oct. 6 at the Australian Beach Club, a large, two-story dance club in Burbank that will have "rock nights" every Thursday, with no cover or dress code.

THE SCENE: To the left of the entrance sits the dance floor and bar. The game rooms are on the right and upstairs. Surrounding the dance floor are tables and stools as well as patio tables and chairs. The DJ booth overlooks the dance floor, and a rounded beach bar like the one in the movie "Cocktail" sits to the left. Spray-painted pictures of marine life decorate the walls. A real palm tree sits in the lounge area along with two TV monitors.

THE MUSIC: While the place rocked with music ranging from Pearl Jam to AC/DC, everyone seemed content to just sit around, drink and talk to friends. The dance floor didn't see any action until 11 p.m. Other nights include '70s disco on Tuesdays, alternative on Wednesdays and a mixture of all kinds of dance music, including disco, alternative, R & B and hip-hop on Fridays and Saturdays.

THE CROWD: The waitresses are friendly, fun and flirtatious, serving up drinks in cutoff denim shorts and leather bustiers. Anything goes on rock night, which brought out the men in black T-shirts, snug jeans and long hair, and the women in tight dresses, pumps and permed tresses. The majority of men and women wore jeans, flannel, white T-shirts, vests and button-down shirts or blouses.

THE GOOD: Games galore. The downstairs game room has a Ping-Pong table, an air-hockey table, two pool tables, Foosball, a basketball hoop, four hanging TV monitors and an aquarium that resembles the one on MTV's "Real World." An upstairs room has its own full bar and holds three more pool tables, a pinball machine, video games and a view of the entire dance floor below. This room is often rented to private parties--Jay Leno celebrated his 500th episode of "The Tonight Show" here.

THE BAD: "They should have dance nights on more nights of the week," said Tom Monette, 23, of Burbank, comparing the number of people this Thursday to the standing-room-only weekend crowds, when the music ranges from hip-hop to alternative. "I think they have too many (specialized) nights. If they had dance nights more often, this place would always be packed."

THE DESPERATION: The DJ, in a last-ditch attempt to entice patrons onto the dance floor, said he would play songs from the pop group Ace of Base all night if people continued to stand against the wall. Before anyone could even say, "Yeah, right," the bouncy intro to "The Sign" blasted through the speakers to everyone's shock and dismay. Once the song was abruptly stopped and the music switched back to rock, the crowd realized the DJ was serious, and the dance floor started to fill up . . . a little.

Australian Beach Club, 237 E. Olive Ave., Burbank. Open seven nights a week with dinner at 4 p.m., dancing at 8 p.m. $5 cover on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. Free buffet for Monday Night Football. (818) 848-8725.

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