IT’S ONLY

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL…

DINE and Destinations - - TASTING NOTES - —Adam Wax­man

A renowned venue with a rich history, the El Mo­cambo is about to get re­vamped and re-amped. Michael Wek­erle came here in his youth as a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, of all mu­sic (for more on Wek­erle, turn to page 12). Now he’s evolv­ing this sto­ried mu­sic club into a mu­si­cal hub of ac­tiv­ity that is sure to be­come a des­ti­na­tion el­e­vated be­yond what it ever was be­fore. Sound en­gi­neer Ed­die Kramer recorded parts of The Rolling Stones’ Love You Live al­bum at The El Mo back in ’77. Ear­lier, he and ar­chi­tect and acous­ti­cian John Sto­ryk col­lab­o­rated on Jimi Hen­drix’s Elec­tric Lady stu­dio in NYC. Wek­erle has teamed them up again to re­build the in­te­rior. While main­tain­ing the leg­endary spirit, it will be teched out with cut­ting-edge ca­pac­ity to record and stream shows. The first floor will be in­ti­mate with a full-scale restau­rant within an acous­ti­cal venue. The sec­ond floor, where ev­ery­one from Blondie to U2 once played, will be the main venue. Both stages can play si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The third floor will be a record­ing stu­dio, along with a fourth floor that is be­ing built with ac­cess to a large rooftop pa­tio. Bands can come in and record albums, live albums, with su­pe­rior sound, and have a place where mu­si­cians and en­thu­si­asts can call home. Built in the 1850s, th­ese walls and hal­lowed halls have seen it all. The var­i­ous chap­ters of this Toronto institution chart the cul­tural history of this city. Through the en­ter­pris­ing fore­sight of this 21st cen­tury makeover, the El Mo will rise again.

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