November 25, 2017

The Lagos Nightlife Energy Is Overrated

The night clubbing capital of Lagos composes of Adeola Odeku, Akin Adesola and their side streets, (including Agoro Odiyan, Saka Tinubu and Idowu Martins) on Victoria Island.

This is where Spice Route, Escape, Cova, Rumours and The Sip, which draw heavy crowds during weekends, are located.

The reigning Night Club in town remains Quilox, for the fourth year running, but it’s not located in this zone. It’s a stand- alone venue, on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue.

The Adeola Odeku/Akin Adesola “district” used to host Rhapsody’s, Number 10 and Auto Lounge, which were quite popular, but are now defunct.

Frenzied moment at Quilox. Photo, courtesy Haxxyloaded
Frenzied moment at Quilox. Photo, courtesy Haxxyloaded

At 11pm on a recent Thursday, a newspaper reporter showed up for a late dinner at Casper and Gambini on Agoro Odiyan Street and, noticing a long line of cars, assumed there was a party going on in the restaurant.

“Have you missed your way sir?” he heard someone saying before he could confirm, through the glass door, that C&G was empty.

“Here is the Club”, the voice persisted.

 1089, situated next door to C&G, is a new bar, lounge and club and was, at 11pm, in the beginning of its Thursday Club Night.

Elsewhere in this so called clubland district, nowhere else was open at the time. This is quite telling. Many of those who comment on the city of Lagos gleefully describe it as very energetic, and put the mistaken tag line: ‘A city which never sleeps’.

In truth, when it comes to Club Night Life of the 11pm to 6am variety, Lagosians turn in relatively early.

BOTTLES Bar at rest. Photo, courtesy THIRD WORLD PROFASHIONAL. Email
BOTTLES Bar at rest. Photo, courtesy THIRD WORLD PROFASHIONAL. Email

Many of the popular lounges and bars on the Island and Mainland are filled up between 7pm and 11pm, especially on Fridays. A few are on till a little after 1am.

The “transitional spaces”, like Cova, Hard Rock Cafe and Spice Route get past 2am on their best nights (which is Sunday for Cova and Friday for Hard Rock Cafe and Spice Route).

If you turn up at these places at 1am any other night, you’d almost find yourself alone.

Everyone shows up at Bottles (around the corner from Terra Kulture), from 7pm to 12 midnight on Wednesdays. Some of the revellers from here empty into Soul Lounge, till about 2.30am

SilverFox, the strip joint around the bend from Hard Rock Cafe, also stretches things on Fridays.

But that’s it.

Don’t expect anything that intense any other time.

At The Pub in GRA Ikeja, the Thursday comedy brings in the crowd, which can stay till 2am. On Fridays, it’s also busy. But don’t look to show up at 3am and expect anything, on any day.

In this vicinity, no one can ignore Crescendo, which starts to fill up at 11pm, every Sunday, but by 2am, Monday morning, the entire party has dispersed. It’s a frantic three hour jol, powered by The Sharp Band. With top artists and new talents showing up at random to perform, Crescendo never fails to remind me of Friday nights at Jazzville, exactly 20 years ago.

And then, outside the GRA area, what you have are a few spots here and there from Allen Avenue to Airport Road. These spots each have their own vibes, but it’s not as if the entire city is aflame, every night, as the popular imagination seems to suggest.

Lagos rises early, certainly. But it is not a city which never sleeps.

By Toyin Akinosho..Publisher, Bookartville..Originally published in Artsville, The Guardian on Sunday.

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