Restos and bars beyond the gay village
There’s lots of action at hot spots outside of the official Pride zone at Church and Wellesley. Here are a few of those places off the beaten path.
ANNEX WRECK ROOM 794 Bathurst, at Bloor W, 416-536- 0346, theannexwreckroom.com. Massive dance club in the Annex across from Honest Ed’s. M
1192 Queen W, at Gladstone, 416537-2768, beavertoronto.ca. Cheap drinks, glam-punk DJs and an artsy crowd make Lynn McNeil’s smallish café one of the hottest spots on the alterna Queer West strip.
BOVINE SEX CLUB 542 Queen W, at Bathurst, 416-504- 4239,
bovinesexclub.com. From the outside, the Bovine looks like the aftermath of an accident in an ironworks. Inside, where it’s dark, down and dirty, DJs spin vintage glam metal or whatever’s loud and happening. The drink of choice? Jägermeister! M
CADILLAC LOUNGE 1296 Queen W, at Grove, 416-536-7717, cadillaclounge.com. Retro 50s- era rocker lounge with huge backyard patio in unpretentious Parkdale. M
DRAKE 1150 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-531
5042, thedrakehotel.ca. Swanky supper club, cocktail lounge and basement performance space in trendy west-side boutique hotel. M
EL CONVENTO RICO 750 College, at Crawford, 416-588-7800, elconventorico.com. Latino salsa club with late-night drag shows Friday and Saturday.
FOOTWORK 425 Adelaide W, at Brant, 416-913-3488, footworkbar.com. Scaled-down version of a large underground dance club, with a focus on house and techno. M
GLADSTONE HOTEL 1214 Queen W, at Dufferin, 416-531- 4635, gladstonehotel.com. Restored Victorian hotel and arts complex complete with installations, café, live music and karaoke. M
HENHOUSE 1532 Dundas W, at Dufferin, 416-534
5939, henhousetoronto.com. Owned by Katie Sketch and Jenny Smyth of the late Vancouver, Morrissey-obsessed combo the Organ, this musician-friendly bar sports kitschy decor and great CD jukebox. Vegetarian Sunday brunch, too.
MITZI’S SISTER 1554 Queen W, at Fuller, 416-532-2570, mitzis.ca. Offshoot of popular Parkdale brunch spot Mitzi’s, this rootin’-tootin’ saloon attracts rough-around-the-edges types from the local alt-art-and-music scene.
MOD CLUB THEATRE 722 College, at Crawford, 416-588- 4663, themodclub.com. Medium-sized live music venue with a raised stage, extended dance floor and elevated seating. M
WRONGBAR 1279 Queen W, at Brock, 416-516-8677, wrongbar.com. Bare-bones live music and DJ space in Parkdale with an electro bent. M 3
Belt out some queer-friendly karaoke at the Henhouse.