Yusuke Oba

I moved to New York when I was 20 years old. It was an intimidating setting but the smartest thing I’ve ever done. The minute I turned 21, I put my hand up to work in a Spanish tapas cocktail bar in Hell’s Kitchen.

By day, I was serving patatas bravas and sangria and by night the venue turned into a secret underground nightclub until 6am. It totally changed my idea of what hospitality was — it was pure entertainment and the place was alive. I wanted in then and there.

Frankie’s Pizza in Sydney was where I really started to excel. I got to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly and I really learned a lot about myself and my industry. It was pure magic running that place. I saw the beast roll through lockout laws and restrictions and evolve with changes the industry is constantly faced with.

After a five-plus-year stint at Frankie’s, I took maybe a week off and got bored. I caught wind of Odd Culture locking down The Duke and my ears pricked up. Jenna Phillips, James Thorpe, and I had coffee while they shared their plans for The Duke. It was then decided I would be the harbinger of the new era for The Duke. I’m so proud of what The Duke has become and the community we built.

I moved into a group operations and entertainment position at Odd Culture around 12 months ago. I’m really zeroing in on entertainment at Pleasure Club and putting myself in the shoes of guests. I cannot wait for everyone to get down to Pleasure Club — it’s what Sydney needs more of right now.

I’m planning a seven-day-a-week, late-night roster of free live bands across a breadth of genres spanning uber-cool dirty jazz, meat and potatoes rock ‘n’ roll, and a bit of an update of the blues age-old theme of ‘sell-yer-soul to temptation’. It will see an iconic and unmatched live entertainment offering in Newtown with surprise midnight sets.

I think Pleasure Club’s 4am licence will change the perception of what that licence means. Most people think of house music, nightclubs, and trouble — it will be the opposite of what you are expecting.

I think you’ll find venues like Pleasure Club will change the scene a lot and have such a positive spin on our industry and Sydney’s nightlife. We have such incredible late-night venues already, and it’s an honour to be able to continue bringing more heat back to the scene. Get in early and buckle up for good times ahead at Pleasure Club.