Major renovation transforms Sydney nightclub Cargo


Following an extensive four-month renovation by Australian Venue Co. (AVC), Sydney nightclub Cargo is set to unveil a new look on Friday 31 May.

Almost 24 years since it first opened, the relaunch of the waterfront institution includes major updates to the ground floor main room and level one lounge, VIP space, lounge and dining spaces, and a revamped alfresco terrace.

Coinciding with redevelopments at King Street Wharf, AVC took the opportunity to renovate and refresh Cargo to ensure that it maintains its status as a waterfront destination for drinking, dining and dancing.

Paul Waterson, AVC CEO, says: “We’ve included fresh interiors that compliment King Street Wharf, updated LED lighting and AV to keep the party going, and a tailored new menu to give our day-goers somewhere to sit back and relax, it’s all been considered in this new-look.”

In what has been a challenging time for many of Sydney’s nighttime operators, Waterson says that the Government’s backing of the industry has given AVC the confidence to invest significantly in Sydney’s nighttime economy.

“We have been heartened by the State Government 24-hour economy strategy led by the Officer of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues and the Minister for the Night-time Economy Hon. John Graham,” he commented.

“We particularly welcome the comprehensive integrated planning and place-making pillar of the strategy supporting the late night economy in locations like Darling Harbour.”

Although AVC did not utilise any government funding or programs, based on his experience working with the State Government and regulators on the reopening of the venue, Waterson feels hopeful about the future of Sydney’s nightlife.

“For the first time in years we have a highly co-ordinated and planned approach to the late night economy,” he said.

“We have a State Government that is investing behind the sector backed by a supportive bureaucracy with a designated Officer of the 24-Hour economy. As a business we are keen to focus our capital investment in those states who are best positioned to support the sector. NSW is certainly showing the way here for entertainment and experience-led businesses.”

The ground floor and main room of the renewed nightclub features a sleek LED-lit bar, state-of-the-art DJ booth, advanced AV technology, LED screens, and dynamic LED lighting hanging above the central dance floor, using neutral tones, splashes of green and timber accents to brighten the space.

Within the level one lounge, versatile furniture allows the casual daytime dining space to be transformed into a club with capacity for 500 patrons by night, open from Sunday through to Thursday every week and hosting local DJs. On level one, the VIP exclusive space has also been given a makeover.

Boasting a full awning for all-season alfresco dining, the beer garden has been rejuvenated with new outdoor furniture, pavers, planter boxes and greenery that elevate the outdoor dining experience with panoramic views of Darling Harbour.

“We’ve got a great lineup of local artists coming through our doors to showcase the very best of our homegrown talent. All of this along with our updated interiors that provide an upgraded VIP area, bookable spaces for larger groups or functions as well as contemporary new furnishings,” added Waterson.

In addition to the refurbishment, Cargo’s food and beverage offering has also been overhauled, launching a new all-day menu of casual eats.

At the helm of executive chef Jason Roberson, highlights from the new food menu include crispy chicken wings, crumbed chicken schnitzel burgers, Japanese eggplant bowls, crispy fish tacos, and a large sharing board.

Cargo food

From the drinks menu, patrons can expect a selection of classic cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz, Amaretto Sour, Tommy’s Margarita and French Martini, complemented by signature shots including the Whamaretto, Skittle Bomb and Birthday Cake.

“We’ve upgraded both our food and drink offering along with what we offer our late-night crowd, we wanted there to be something for everyone. Whether it’s a mid-week lunch with some of our awesome new $25 specials, or for our epic nightlife atmosphere,” says Waterson.

Although Cargo remained operational throughout the duration of works, its relaunch coincides with the 2024 VIVID Sydney festival and officially reopens all levels to the public from 9pm on Friday 31 May.

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