Printed from:
2023-09-25 08:29:53

Club Essential

By I. 08.08.2008

Skolas 2 , Riga Phone: 371 67242289
Working hours: Mon-Tue : - closed
Wed 23.00 - 05.00
Thu 23.00 - 06.00
Fri-Sat 23.00 - 08.00
Sun 23.00 - 05.00

For the masses. Essential is the biggest club in Riga, offering the most musical variety. It’s safe to say that it’s the most popular in town, with regular queues to enter.

It’s also the most multicultural, where you’ll meet a mix of locals and quite a lot of visitors from abroad. The generally more casually dressed party people here are mostly in their 20s and 30s. If you do happen to meet someone you like, stick close because this old movie theater is a rabbit-warren of rooms and stairs that’s usually packed as it was on the early Sunday morning we visited.

The R ‘n’ B hall, under the shade of an electric coconut palm and winding stairway, is blasted with popular international tracks and a smoke machine doing overtime. Like the rest of this huge club, the hall is generously surrounded by bars. You can watch the crowd get down from an upper level, here as well as on the Main Floor. Contrasting the R ‘n’ B hall, the largest area with real room to groove features energetic mixes of house, progressive house and trance music. We caught a powerful drumming trio performance that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The gigantic screen behind the DJ is really impressive, as well as the light show.

But if this genre isn’t your thing, you can walk down memory lane in the After 30 room, where punters both young and old delight in retro hits like ABBA’s “Man After Midnight” and the often hilarious music videos beamed above a mid-sized dance floor. The second floor of this room is a good place to sit and chat, with booths for around ten people costing €44 to reserve all night, and downstairs costing €85-145. Finally, the Pink Room features DJs playing more relaxed soulful and disco tunes, and soft lounges to really sink into while being mesmerized by psychedelic ceiling lights. Reserving these costs €30-86 a night, depending on the size.

There’s a great party atmosphere which the club actively encourages by regularly featuring international stars such as hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash and the successful trance duo Above & Beyond. Some parts of the club are quite commercial, which may not be to everyone’s taste, with screens showing advertising and even a shop selling club merchandise.

It’s difficult to list the intricate cover charge system, but these generally range from free any night before midnight, to a maximum of just over €7 for Friday and Saturday nights, midnight to 4.00. Special events charge only a little extra at the door. Prices for drinks are average, with a Mohito or Long Island Iced Tea at €10 and Margaritas a little less, mixed spirits at around €6 and bottled Heineken or Corona beer at a little over €7.