We should mourn the tragic demise of one of Oxford’s least known clubs – the hidden treasure of Roppongi.
You may never have heard of Roppongi, aptly (or perhaps rather not) named after Tokyo’s popular clubbing district. If you haven’t, you’ve probably walked past it on the way to the more ‘respectable’ clubs further down George Street. When I learnt that Roppongi is set to close down on Friday 25 March, I was genuinely upset. Where would we spend our Sunday nights? Where would we get our free shots?
Last term, I made a trip to this establishment. It was an ideal place for pre-drinks, with a free shot of alcohol that tastes like the medicine you might have taken for an ear-infection when on holiday. Shots aside, the drinks were cheap and colourful. Boringly, I ordered a double G&T. My companion was more adventurous, with an electric blue concoction that contained VK, vodka, lemonade, and quite possibly the contents of the urinals next door. We sat on some comfy white-ish sofas, but since we weren’t VIP, we were shortly asked to get up and move on.
It seemed as though every hour was Happy Hour, as most of the resident clubbers were off their faces. They mainly were comprised of locals, and post-grads that had forgotten to leave. We swiftly moved away from an approaching stag party and towards the dance floor. It resembled an end-of-year school disco, complete with multi-coloured lights, a questionable playlist, and creepy old guys. When Katy Perry’s Firework started playing, we found ourselves surrounded by a group of elderly suited gentlemen. Needless to say, we ran out quickly.
It may not have been the best night I’ve had in Oxford, but it was a night to remember. Roppongi offered an alternative experience that allowed Oxford students to get out of their comfort zone. Going to Bridge every Thursday for 8 weeks a term makes you a square. Secondly, Roppongi let us spend time with another generation, since the average age at the club seemed to be fifty-something.
I feel no connection to any of the other clubs in Oxford, which hurry you inside and kick you out if they deem your moves too renegade for their dancefloor. Compare Roppongi, which had devoted staff waiting outside all night, reminding you that entrance was free. The bouncers were also lovely (as opposed to some other Oxford clubs), and would update you on the liveliness of the dance floor, a place where you could be as experimental as you liked with your moves.