This club has gained notoriety in the last year, not all of it necessarily good. It is definitely a 'higher class' establishment catering for the sophisticated party goer. However underneath the facade of entertainment, having a good time and mens vain attempt to 'pick up' women, is a subtle racist and exclusionists establishment, that tries it hardest to ensure that the crowd who actually gets into the club, are white-caucasians who represent the blonde-hair-blue-eyed Australian stereotype.
I say this because I have tried to get into the club three times so far, and have been denied every single time because I wasn't on the 'guess list' (I am an Australian, however, my parents are from Bangladesh).The first time, a few of my friends told me that they were going for a night out on Saturday and will be at the Ivy bar later on that night. So instead of spending my night playing video games and lamenting about things, I decided to be pro-active and socialize with my friends. When I got to the line, I noticed that women were being let in straight away, but men had to line up. Hence, when a group of men came with a group of women, the women were separated from them, whom the guys would 'presumably' meet up with later once they got in (this is important, because it's a subtle rip-off scheme). I started to notice that some of the men, who were either of middle Eastern, Asian or Indian background, would get to the front of the line, then be denied access for some reason. By the time I got to the front, a guy and a girl doorman ask 'What have I been up to tonight' as I was about to take out my identification, my reply 'Just meeting up with some friends who are already up there'. His retort 'Are you on the guess list?', I knew straight there and then I wasn't getting in. So I told them I didn't know anything about a 'guess list' and got directed to leave by the burly bouncer, having to humiliating walk past everyone who was lining up. Despite my embarrassment though, I thought it was my fault, because I didn't know about the 'guess list' and when couldn't organize my name to be on it.
The second time I tried was with a group of uni buddies (all male). We were just in the city, having fun and going clubbing after a long and down right tiresome exam period. Two of my mates with us was Lebanese, the other two was Vietnamese and Greek. The line was short this time (one of the benefits of being an early bird), but as soon as we got to the front, they asked 'Are you guys on the guess list' again. We told them 'No' and tried to explain to them that we haven't been drinking. Our attempts were in vain, and we got asked to leave again. I still naively thought that we were just to spontaneous and un-well organized to arrange for our name to be on this list, but my mate Imrhan knew otherwise, and told me we were not allowed in because were of the wrong type: racial type. I refused to believe him and thought he was just taking things too personally.
The third and final time was the one that touched a nerve. My partner wanted to celebrate her birthday, so she arranged for a bunch of people to meet together at a function centre, and then to go out clubbing/dancing later on that night. She wanted to go to the Ivy, and I said that was fine, but we needed to arrange ourselves to be on the 'guess list', she gave me this quizzical look and simply stated that there was no such thing, she was never asked if she was on it the numerous times she was went. So after the whole celebration thing, I reluctantly obliged and went with her to the Ivy. I lined up once again, and the bouncer said 'All girls can go straight through'. I breathed a sign of relief because this time I thought I was definitely getting in, as my girlfriend and all her other female friends were getting in as well. So I am waiting online patiently with a few other guys, we finally get to the front, then the doorman asks about my night, we tell them were celebrating a birthday party, and then he asks us if we are on the 'guess list', I told him no and that my girlfriend who went up there 15 minutes ago wasn't either. He insisted on his lie and said something about 'guess list' patrons only, which I promptly responded was a load of horse crap, when I was then fronted by two bouncers who told us to leave. I was furious at this, but not yet boiling. I call my girlfriend up to tell we weren't allowed in and that we had to go, she said that she already paid the 100 dollars to get her and her friends in. I try to go back to the door man, telling him that we are entitled to a 100 dollar refund, but the bouncer grabs my face and pushes it away. I scream to the doorman that I want my money back, create a scene because my blood is boiling, and then several bouncers show up telling me to calmly leave. I tell them my girlfriend is up there and she's coming down now, and I want our money back. They ignore me and start sizing me up, even though I was infuriated I was smart enough to know that me and my friends can't take on 8 bouncers.
We left that night with 100 dollars less in our pocket, I call the Ivy bar later on that week to explain our predicament and to get the money back as a matter of principle, but the lady on the phone just said 'That we don't discriminate against anyone and treat all our customers the same'.
I have filed a complaint to a lot of legal and arbitration bodies to deal so this matter can be handled, but bureaucracy is a slow process.
Since then I have heard from many sources that the Ivy is an inherently racist and exclusionists club. A token amount of people who are considered 'undesirables' are let into the club so to appease any potential complaints of racism, with comment 'We allow all types of people to enter our club' just take a look at the token Middle Eastern, Asian or Indian guys here, whilst hoping that you don't ask about those who were 'guess listed' from entrance.
My complaints to management have gone unheard, and I have been treated as a nuisance. I am hoping that by filing this report, that Ivy bar and the owner Justin Hemmes will clean up their act and treat people with a little more dignity regardless of their race, appearance or sociology-economic background.