W4W Toronto

Club and Event Previews and Reviews

Amber Bar – Dec 31, 2005

Amber Bar – Dec 31, 2005

119 Yorkville Ave

I’ve been to Amber several times in the summer of 2005 and I’ve always had an interesting time. The main room is smallish and located downstairs . One travels down a narrower room and bypasses the washrooms to then go upstairs to the heated patio. The patio is very nice in the summer, but here I was on New Years Eve for a free party.

We arrived at Amber at 0100hrs after taking our time and missing the revelry at midnight. No big deal. The crowd was in full swing with the resident DJ serving up some really good mixes of R&B.

Let’s talk about the crowd for a minute. I’ve always been a people watcher, and Amber has some of the most interesting people you will ever see anywhere. The very old mixes with the apparently very young. What they all have in common is the aura of money emanating from their every pore. Designer wear is everywhere, yet people are careless about where they throw their mink coats, and and Luis Vuitton purses. Men in pinstriped suits with cigarette pant tailoring. Russian fur hats with designer dresses and six inch leather, fur, AND suede trimmed boots. Platinum and gold jewelery gleaming in the lighting. Expensive drinks and bottles of champagne piling up on tables. The room was kind of cliquish however, with those who knew each other keeping to themselves. But what to expect from a Yorkville crowd?

As the liquor flowed, and the dancing continued so did the number of items I kept finding on the floor. Wallets, silk scarves, bracelets, cell phones, PDA’s, furs. I found several items left behind in bathroom stalls. One of my friends who I met up with, unknowingly lost or misplaced her cell phone 3 times and I returned it to her with much ado each time. It became a game to my friend and I to see who could find the most stuff. We returned them all periodically after asking around the room, and were rewarded with drinks and thank yous from the intoxicated recipients.

Back to the music. Liberating. The DJ’s cache included music from every decade back to the 70’s, and he mixed it all in well. One could not help but to either get up and dance or to keep dancing, including my friend and I.

And dancing the revelers did. We left Amber with the party still going strong at 0400hrs. Strangely, on our way out everyone seemed to ask the same question, “oh are you leaving?”.

Apparently there would no longer be anyone around who cared enough to make sure they didn’t leave anything behind… *smile*.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 91/2 People – 8 Ambiance – 8 Love factor -7

Advertisements

December 31, 2006 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Eight Below – March 10, 2006 R.I.P

12 Brant Street (RIP RoxyBlu)

http://www.eightrestolounge.com

Like other supperclubs/restolounges (do a Google search), don’t expect the relaxed peaceful air of a restaurant, because the restaurant is only a part of the equation. Having scrapped the pretenses of fine dining, the “restolounge” crowd is intent on seeing and being seen.

Hingson Entertainment owns Eight Resto Lounge (upstairs), and Eight Below. At Eight you can dine, then listen to ambient house music while get sloshed in the back lounge with other upscale folks, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays go downstairs to the nightclub area called Eight Below. You don’t have to leave the building proper to have it all.

Let’s focus on Eight Below. We visited EB on a Friday night in early February. We walked through the same large, but renovated doors that used to be the entrance to RoxyBlu, but the nostalgia stops there. There is nothing about EB that resembles the former haunt. We made our way downstairs and could not help but take note of all aspects of the decor, even in the dim lighting. The decor was reminiscent of a upscale cigar lounge such as “Houstons” (lot’s of dark wood), meets “Amber” (basement with low ceiling), meets Ultra (expensive, elicit feel, and dark hardwood floors). The “L” shape of the club was interesting as was the various “VIP” areas. However, I felt as though the place was not really finished being put together.

Apart from a sexy looking place, with luxurious touches, there was not that much to EB. At least not at the moment. The sound system was terrible! The speakers that were away from the “dance floor” were sub par, and the speakers in the dance floor area did not have enough highs, mids, or bass for the sweet house music that the DJ was spinning. Some of the crowd came to dance so they were undaunted by the acoustics. There were plenty of plush, comfortable seating to watch the dancers, but all seats were at a premium and it was first come, first serve.

We sat with our backs to the where the washroom area was set up. However, an hour into us being in EB, we began smelling the repulsive sewage and waste emanating from an private, open door in the back of the washrooms. I was on the dance floor near the DJ booth, and asked him how he could work with that odour (that apparently got worse with every flush), and incredibly he said he hadn’t noticed. Believe me, we noticed, and so did a few of the the die hard whirling dervishes as well, because we all ended up vacating EB at the same time.

I hope the managers of EB will get this space’s act and…smell together soon, because we do like the club overall, and see huge potential.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 81/2 People – 7 Ambiance – 61/2 Love factor – 5

March 10, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Century Room – second visit – Oct 15, 2005

580 King Street West

Ok. My worst encounter with a bouncer ever. I arrived at 1120pm at Century Room with 2 of my friends. We were on the guest list and we were told to speak to Crystal at the door.

The large bodied, steroid-taking bouncer of East Indian descent could be heard barking various orders and instructions to patrons waiting on the sidewalk in
the VIP line. I approached him and said we were on the guest list and could we speak to Crystal who was visible 4 or 5 feet behind his large frame. He asked how many of us, I answered and he told us to wait in "this" line. Fifteen minutes later I asked to speak to Crystal again. He said everyone wants to speak to Crystal. Five minutes after that I said I didn't understand what the problem was. He said ok we can go in but we have to pay full price of $20 each. Like duh!! I asked him, so what is the guest list for? Banana boy replied that it's for those arriving before 1130pm! Um, like…what? Imagine my chagrin!

So, like…we DID arrive before 1130pm and were kept in line on purpose by an overgrown gorilla on a power trip. Having had enough, I hollered out Crystal's name and we made eye contact. She signaled for us to come through and ape man had to let us in.

That's what patience gets you…sore feet. Action, and a well controlled temper is required to enter this club if you are not a regular.

Century Room the club was interesting, but not memorable. The front room though pretty and inviting, had several VIP arrangements and parties going on, but the sound system was loud and acoustically challenged. The main room also had several VIP booths at full capacity. The dance floor was a regular thoroughfare with no one dancing. Really, the club was ram packed by 1230am and no one was dancing anywhere!

Out on the patio, we settled in for some chilly, but fresh air and conversation. Looking around the patio I would say it was pleasant, however, the heat lamps were not all working and the bricks slabs on the ground were uneven and dangerous for high heel wearers.

Overall the best part of the night was the 30 minutes we spent inside dancing to some soulful house beats which came on at 0100am. By then several of our friends managed to be escorted in by a well known regular and we made the best of it. We left soon after we got our fix.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)

Music – 5 People – 3 Ambiance – 3 Love factor -1

October 15, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

State Theater – Oct 14, 2005 – R.I.P

Formerly Tangier Nightclub

69 Bathurst Street

They say people make the party. That was so true for the entourage of models and friends that took over State Theatre on this Saturday Night a la NAM Personal Management. All proceeding happened in the main VIP area. There were several other smaller VIP arrangements, but our area had the most prominent pole for…pole dancing. As far as VIP areas go, this place has a nice arrangement, because you still feel as though you are part of the larger party that is happening on the dance floor. The exhibitionist in you will love this place. The overall look of State Theatre is well – dark and can use more colour in the main room. The bar is quite small for such a well visited club, but the service is reasonably quick, and the female bartenders are very attractive. Bottle service in our VIP area was also satisfying.

The music in this place was great. The sound system was more than adequate, and the R&B blending into soulful and progressive house was very nice. I think they even played a couple of rock songs! By then no one cared, because all the action was happening on the pole. Funny how a long silver pole after a few drinks brings out the exotic dancer in all of us.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 81/2 People – 91/2 Ambiance – 7 Love factor -91/2

October 14, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Century Room – first visit – July 30, 2005

Formerly the Mockingbird

www.centuryroom.com

580 King Street West

There was a party of about 30 or 40 of us and we were doing our thang in a reserved VIP booth. The booth we had was large and spacious with flowing white curtains that really offered no privacy (not that we wanted any). The booth style seating was plush and comfortable with a table taking up the middle at just the right height for the bottle service that is a must with booth seating in clubs nowadays.

We were all a bit inebriated, however I didn’t get a really cozy feeling from Century, just kind of a dark cellar-with-lights vibe. Our table had a great time and everyone seemed to be enjoying the music. I liked the variety of R&B, hip hop, and some house I heard, however I found the bass to be lacking and acoustic not well thought out for our location.

The bathrooms where attractive individual co-ed cubicles. There were four or perhaps 5 or them (not nearly enough) and people could do whatever they wanted in there with complete privacy. Hmm…

Overall on this visit I gave the following rating:

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)

Music – 5 People – 7 Ambiance – 3 Love factor – 5

July 30, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boa Redux – Saturday July 23, 2005 – R.I.P

270 Spadina Avenue (now relocated to 360 Adelaide West)I have just one thing to say – LOUD!!!! Boa’s main room has an extremely loud beast of a sound system pumping out tribal and progressive house in all it’s variations. Entry is strict and involves an acceptable level of patting down for drug, contraband and God knows what. Then one must pay at another flight of stairs, and then finally scale some more stairs to get to the main room, whereupon the thunderous assault on one’s ears takes place. The place is basically a beautifully renovated theatre made for dancing, with a stage on the left and several levels of dance plateaus on the right. Hundreds, if not thousands of people can fit into the main room, because it extends back as far as the eye can see.

On the other side of the theatre layout there lies another downstairs room with chairs and tables and it’s own DJ spinning soulful house with lyrics on the night we were there. What keeps Boa fresh is that although there are resident DJ’s, there are also invited guest DJ’s that spin there as well. The DJ on the ones and twos in the main room was one such guest DJ, his name being Sandy Rivera (Kings of Tomorrow, Defected). My three friends and I spent the night going between the two rooms and dancing to whatever came on.

Overall people are going to Boa to hear appealing music on a sound system that is only rivaled by System Sound Bar. Some people are also going to dance off their Ecstasy or similar drug haze, so we were very aware of the occasional stoned and off-balance humans maneuvering on the dance floor and throughout the club. In light of this, one can appreciate the no alcohol served rule at Boa. Not to worry water, power drinks, and Red Bull are all available at the bar for about three times what you would pay in a grocery store… heh, heh, heh.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 9 People – 7 Ambiance – 8 1/2 Love factor – 6

July 23, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SCHMOOZE – Friday July 22, 2005

www.schmooze.ca

15 Mercer Street (south of King St. and west of John St.)

I’ve been to this place on a Friday several times with my girlfriends, and I must say it is a unique experience each time. Essential to getting your Friday evening party started right, is showing up at Schmooze before 8:00pm. Before this time entry to the club is easy, the bouncers are cordial and let you right in.

As well, you will be able to get your hot little hands on as many drinks as you can buy. At $2.50 for martini’s and $1.50 for beer and mixed drinks, you will want to keep those hands full. Schmooze, the entity is well laid out with two large bars on the main floor, and whole lot of mingling room on the multileveled floor. The ceilings are loft like, with pillars and rich wood accent throughout. Also on the first level are the main washrooms. The wash areas are co-ed so expect to share a sink and some small talk with the opposite sex. The women’s individual stalls offer a freaky surprise that I won’t give up here, you’ll just have to go and find out for yourself. Ascending the grand staircase to the second floor, you’ll find another set of non-coed washrooms. Finally, on the third level a spacious rooftop cedar patio with a bar offers up a space to smoke, or just sit and chill.

Schmooze on a Friday is a place where the faster you get liquored up the more fun you have. The eye candy factor is not bad either, just make sure you’ve assessed the candidates before you get sloshed. Everyone of the hundreds of bodies in the place is feeling good by the time 9 pm rolls around. You’ll likely meet people you would never meet anywhere else. The music starts getting louder and more up to date as the night goes on until it reaches club mode. You and your peeps will effortlessly move from schmoozing, to dancing to r&b, salsa, house, and old school with other fellow schmoozers. In the end it’s all love and good times.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 71/2 People – 8 Ambiance – 9 Love factor – 9

July 23, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roxy Blu – Sat June 12 2005 – R.I.P

12 Brant Street, just north of King St. West and 1 block west of Spadina

Now the fabulous Eight Resto Lounge is in it’s place (review coming soon)

I’ve been to the Roxy several times on a Saturday night and it has always had an interesting crowd feeding off the same great music. If house is your forte then this is the place to be. Not just any old house, but deep soul influence house. Roxy’s sound system has enough thumping bass to reset your pacemaker, so come prepared to feel the vibe. There are two rooms on the “main” floor – the loungy bar area, and the large open room where the actual parting goes on.

The lounge area has it’s own DJ spinning everything tribal to progressive house, but it is the open room that has the percussionist’s accompanying the soul sessions of resident DJ Winston Thompson. Downstairs there are also two adjacent rooms that they call Surface. Again you are libel to hear all things house – from progressive to garage, to techno. The recent smoking ban has transported the smokers to the little makeshift patio Roxy has facing the sidewalk. This area could also be mistaken for a lounge area judging from the number of people occupying every square inch of it. Overall, I had a good time dancing to the beats. However, as far as male and female eye candy goes, the casually dressed crowd was a little lacking in that department. I would say that the women had far superior eye candy factor to the men, because they actually came dressed in their Saturday’s finest . The love factor was also lacking on this occasion, which is somewhat unusual for the Roxy. Too many people were milling around trying to talk over the heavy beats than actually dancing for me to feel the warmth that night.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 8 People – 6 Ambiance – 7 Love factor – 4

June 12, 2005 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Toronto Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FILM Lounge – Sat June 12 2004

Directions

393 Dundas W. before Beverley St. Entrance on Dundas St. west just before Beverley St.

Music Played: House with DJ’s Aadil, JELO, J-PREZ, DEKO-ZE, Kenny Glasgow, Sydney Blu

On my third jaunt to Film after hours I can say I had the best time. My friend and I went over to Film after Roxy’s at about 0300hrs on a Saturday night. She knew the bouncer at the door and thereby saved us a collective $40.00, and an incredibly long line up.

Film Lounge has a moderately sized dance floor which does not allow for much thorough traffic (bonus!). They also have a VIP section just off to the right after entering the club. Most people seemed to be using it as a detox room. Which leads me to this point – the one great thing about Film is the people. You will be hard pressed to see such a diverse collection of people who love music in one spot other than Film. The lighting is a little too extreme for that hour of the night, but the sound system makes up for the offense. You can actually see the sweat dripping from the clubbers when they dance, not a pretty sight. However, the lighting is a God send if you are picking up people for other reasons if you know what I mean.

I am not a huge fan of trance house (check out their web site for a sample), but that is basically what they play and the crowd loves it. All the various characters were in good form dancing the night away. There is a huge love factor at this place and they can appreciate a person who is having a good time. There were many characters ranging from the little Asian man who kept gyrating to every beat non-stop, to the buff fitness dude who appeared to have a severe case of gorilla-itis and a stiff neck. Then there were the Pamela Anderson wanna-be’s, dancing next to perfectly normal looking people. Oh, and how could I forget the fun teen Barbie in her club clothes bouncing around for 2 hours straight. This place is one after hours that should not be missed.

Scale of 0-10 (10 being the best)
Music – 7 People – 7 Ambiance – 7 Love factor – 7

June 12, 2004 Posted by | Clubs, Reviews, Toronto Lounges, Toronto Nightclubs, Uncategorized | Leave a comment