How many clubs are there in Kampala and what do they have in common? A Dj and emcee somewhere in the corner alerting the crowd about the next song and shout outs to people they know are in the vicinity.
Waiters and waitresses that come around seconds before you even warm the couch with your friends, the loud music playing and all the other things that you can think of the clubs today are like.
This is what Dave Balajaji did not want to have when his brother decided to start a club in Kampala. They decided that to be unique, they should not, like other clubs have to stock large quantities of beer from manufacturers and they did this by setting up one with a microbrewery of its own.
At the entrance of the club located on top of Tirupati Mazima Mall in Kabalagala, the eyes strike the word “Club Venom” with a letter V all in red with the slogan- “What’s your poison?” to mean which kind of drink do you take. The club is the only entertainment place, in Kampala at least, where one can go for a treat of fresh beer from the multimillion microbrewery that can have over 120,000 litres in stock, at a go.
Ugandans love beer. That is the reason a joyful Balajaji gives on why the management chose the first of its kind brewery. Flavours brewed include, premium pilsner, Golden Ale, Belgian Wheat Beer, Ginger Lime, Amber Ale, Czech Pils and Hefeweizen. During the festive season, management introduced chocolate flavoured beer.
Away from the microbrewery, Balajaji takes us around the spacious 40-square dance floor decorated remote controlled incandescent table sets, a customer can always choose the colour they want from white, green, red and blue or having all the colours lighting up in intervals.
“This is what differentiates us from all other clubs, where in Kampala do you find this comfortable furniture, only here and I have been to all clubs and this is nowhere,” Balajaji says with a wide smile.
You have not really been to Venom until you get into the lounge, which is directly opposite the brewery. The lounge gives a chance to those who want to relax, away from the crowd on the dance floor, to have “their space.” You will however have to part with Shs20, 000 for entrance to the ordinary section and Shs40,000 to the VIP lounge.
Work at Venom starts on Tuesday with the Back to School party, those with tattoos display them on the Tattoo night which is on Wednesdays, while university students who want to relax away from studies enter free of charge before midnight on Thursday Campus night, and it is Saturday Night Fever on Saturdays.
The club has a set dress code, which is strictly classy, therefore men wearing shorts or sandals are denied entry. Balajaji defends this rule by pointing out that the way you dress shows the level of respect you have for the place.