Posts Tagged ‘nightclubbing’
CBC News’ Stephanie Matteis reports on the employees of beleaguered Toronto music venue Hugh’s Room, upset that while their employers will benefit from a fundraiser their back wages are likely to be left unpaid. Surely they, too, deserve something from the music community?
The fanfare about a potential reopening of Hugh’s pub and entertainment lounge, better known as “Hugh’s Room” has many music lovers excited. But it’s upsetting some former staff members, who are still owed wages from the music venue.
The bar closed at the beginning of January, with owner Richard Carson facing insurmountable but undisclosed debt. Supporters have since stepped in to rebrand it as a not-for-profit entity through fundraising.
A GoFundMe campaign started Jan. 27 and has already raised more than $55,000 — more than a third of its goal.
Meanwhile, many who made about $12 an hour are left without compensation they’re owed.
Lisa Fullerton called Hugh’s Room “family,” which is partly why it felt like such a blow to her and others to feel “strung along” about being paid outstanding wages.
The single mom was a cook at the Dundas Street West establishment. She worked there on and off starting in 2010 and had cheques bounce twice in the last half year.
The Toronto Star‘s Ben Rayner describes how city regulations and neighbourhood opposition may end plans to reopen the Matador Club, a renowned old Toronto music venue. I’m not surprised, sadly: College and Dovercourt is a perfect neighbourhood for condos.
The fabled Matador Club at the corner of College St. and Dovercourt Rd. has stood empty for 10 years now, seven of those in the hands of new owners who’ve long hoped to restore the 101-year-old space to its original glory as a revamped, remodelled live venue and community event space dubbed the Matador Ballroom.
Now, when Toronto’s music scene is agonizing over a spate of recent venue closures — last week, Bloor West café the Holy Oak announced it will be shuttering by March, joining a list that already includes the beloved Silver Dollar, the Hoxton, Hugh’s Room, Tattoo, the Hideout, and the Central — the Matador risks becoming the next casualty. Again.
When it finally got its liquor licence at this time last year despite staunch opposition from some very vocal and well-organized objectors in the surrounding neighbourhood who remember the room as the city’s most infamous after-hours boozecan, many observers assumed that it would reopen eventually. This is, after all, a historic venue in a self-professed “music city,” a space where the signatures of storied past performers such as Leonard Cohen and Stompin’ Tom Connors adorn a dressing-room wall that was almost bulldozed into a city parking lot.
Not so. The Matador remains ensnared in a nightmare of neighbourhood opposition and zoning and permit issues, and its would-be rescuer, Paul McCaughey — who purchased the building with his brother in 2010 — is growing weary.
“When you say the Matador will eventually get opened . . . there is no ‘eventually’ any longer,” he says, frankly. “The Matador will be the next headline if we do not get serious movement within the next two months.
“I will sell it to a condo developer and they will have a Shoppers Drug Mart in the bottom of it, OK?”
blogTO’s Amy Grief makes the case that Toronto’s deeply interested in the universe of Harry Potter. (I think it would be too much to argue that Toronto is uniquely interested, mind.)
Toronto might not be part of the Harry Potter universe, but the city is feeling awfully magical nonetheless.
Lately, it seems like the Statute of Secrecy has been thrown out the window here as Harry Potter-related events, shows and trivia nights have become more commonplace in Toronto.
Of course, the new 2016 additions to the Harry Potter cannon – including the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie and the rather lacklustre Cursed Child script – have helped keep Potter in the public eye.
But here in Toronto, this newfangled Pottermania started earlier, when The Lockhart, the city’s unofficial Harry Potter bar, opened on Dundas West in September 2015. The local watering hole got international media attention and it naturally attracted lineups around the block.
Since things have cooled off a bit, co-owner and general manager Matt Laking says he and his team have been able to introduce magic shows and trivia nights on certain nights of the week.
Brad Wheeler’s feature in The Globe and Mail about the fate of Hugh’s Room reads like an elegy to this much-appreciated venue.
Richard Carson stands outside Hugh’s Room, having a smoke and talking about the specialness of his west-end music venue that now is in limbo because of financial problems.
“What I wanted to do here was to create a place where artists wanted to play, where staff wanted to work and where music fans wanted to be,” he says, looking off at the grey sky. “Some nights, I would stand back and watch those three things come together, and, I tell you, it was magical to see.”
With that, Mr. Carson, who opened the city’s premier folk club in 2001, shakes his head worryingly and stubs out his cigarette.
Just then, a friend who’s chipped in to fix an electrical problem in the building steps outside and pats Mr. Carson on the back as he walks by. “Hang in there, Richard,” he says. “Hang in there.”
The club owner laughs softly to himself. Hang in there? He’s been doing exactly that for nearly 16 years.