Toronto
4 min

COCKTAIL CONFESSIONS

• The Black Eagle is on the block.



That’s the “very profitable bar” on Church St with “sales of over $800k” that’s for sale in an ad running in Xtra.



Real estate agent Diana Menzies, at Prudential First Choice Realty, says there’s interest, but warns that selling a business takes time. “It’s a very difficult process,” she says.



• The heat is on.



The renowned goth/industrial bar Sanctuary on Queen St W has closed. “The last weekend on earth… to celebrate the last weekend before our move to parts unknown” was Jul 1. There’s talk that the 472nd Starbucks on that street will open in the space. Starbucks shareholders take note: the bubble is bursting in the company’s hometown of Seattle, and even java addicts are sick of seeing your clone coffee shops every second block.



Assistant manager Darrin Currell says the club was having trouble with its landlord and was shutting down. Currell also says city inspectors knew this – and harassed them anyway, hitting the club with a whopping $10,000 fine in its last few days.



Sanctuary is eight years old, and had licence for a dancefloor. City inspectors, says Currell, called the licence a mistake and zapped ’em.



“It’s Mel Lastman and his new anti danceclub [policy] stuck in his ass.”



Dancefloors are only allowed in the Entertainment District in the Richmond St area; this means the rest of the city will be “pure” while last call in that area of town becomes a riot zone every night. Does that sound like good urban planning?



The ticket’s being taken to court; club owners are looking for a new spot where they’ll be “allowed” a dance floor; and 25 people are out of jobs.



Sanctuary was once voted “scariest bar in North America” by Details magazine and Currell says it flew the Pride flag every June.



A friend in line at Gloucester Street’s Fly on a Friday night (actually, in the wee hours of Jun 11) watched two cops (from car number 5202) walk in to inspect the club.



And remember how people took up smoking to protest the stupid city by-law that bars be 100 percent non-smoking? It’s happening again, only more slowly and quietly…. Since October 1999, all bars must be “seventy-five percent smoke-free.”



The good people at Trax V (at 529 Yonge) had been visited by inspectors twice in 72 hours when I called Monday. “I don’t know if it’s bar politics or just a customer,” said the bartender.



And Carrington’s Sports Bar (618 Yonge) was fined $500 for smoking “problems” two weeks ago.



What a way to make lots of money for the city – with endless fines. Guess that’s what Mayor Mel meant when he said no tax increase.



• Saturday’s Sissy dance night is dead.



DJ and promoter Daniel Paquette (who usually writes in this space but is on leave for the summer) says he was dumped by Buddies In Bad Times by voicemail after he left town for his holidays.



“I think it’s really cowardly of them to do this when I’m away,” Paquette complains.



Buddies general manager Gwen Bartleman says the DJ knew the writing was on the wall. After grouching from neighbours, a noise meter was placed in the DJ booth and checked every 20 minutes. Bartleman says if the music is too loud, the DJ is ordered to drop the volume.



Says Bartleman: “He couldn’t follow noise regulations within the building…. I’m not going to get into a discussion about Daniel, it was quite clear what the regulations were.



“We had to respect our neighbours… there are definitely concerns the neighbours had. We’ve had meetings in the past with representatives from condo associations in the area.”



Jul 8 was the last Sissy; it’s been replaced by Perm, and a cast of rotating DJs (Lushus Lix spins the rest of this month, K-Tel is slated for August, doors at 12 Alexander St open at 10:30pm and cover is $3, Fridays remain the same with DJ Jacquie).



Says Bartleman: “They’ve been very effective fundraisers for the theatre.”



Paquette says he kept to the noise limits. “Whatever, I just want people to know that [I’m] not Djing [there], I will take Sissy to another club or parties sometime this fall. I will continue to DJ locally since music is my passion.”





• Smooth-dancing Maya Chacaby won the two-steppin’ trophy at Swamperella’s last gig of the season, on Jun 17.



Swamperella puts Cajun music on the map in Toronto, attracting a huge dyke crowd (and others) to Bronco’s (the country bar inside Queen and Dufferin’s Gladstone Hotel) once a month. Lead singer Soozie Schlanger says the band is back on Sun, Aug 27 with a summer barbecue from 3pm on at the Ward’s Island clubhouse. Other performers include Laura Hubert and Joanne Mackell And The Paradise Rangers (Mackell had a band called the Yahoos, then took some time off for a few years, and is back playing honky tonk). Other performers include the Cameron Family Singers and the Backstabbers. Organizer Conny Nowé says admission is $7 (“it’s a deal… BBQ, beer and kids all welcome”). For more info, call (416) 588-9227.



Schlanger says the best dancing trophy is the second given out. The very first, handed out in the spring, went to the band’s biggest fan, Bonnie. She’s never missed a gig.



Bonnie takes to the dancefloor with a plastic bean shaker and serenades the night away. She sells the noisemakers, too – they’re made of recycled water bottles or cardboard boxes that used to hold cereal or the fixin’s for macaroni and cheese.



But Maya Chacaby won last month for her skill as a Cajun dancing queen. Girlfriend Jennifer Gillmor had to take lessons so as to not step on her lover’s feet….



Gillmor, by the way, played her last gig with Roach Motel on Canada Day, at the Sorauren Arts And Design Building’s 4th Annual Courtyard Bash.



Residents get together and, for the price of a port-a-potty (please leave your financial donation in the cardboard box) put on a barbecue and evening of delightful entertainment for all. Clowns, trapeze artists (the stunning Gravityworks) and bands (like country boys Cuff The Duke). Roach Motel continues with another bass player, and Jennifer has taken up the cello. She hopes her neighbours will appreciate the noise level changes….



• Bad Boy Club Montreal is hitting Europe this summer. A series of promotional events includes Black And Blue Montreal Meets Love Parade Berlin. It was Jul 8 in Berlin with DJ Mark Anthony. News reports say more than one million crowded the streets for the biggest rave in the world.



There was a BBCM float in Paris’s Jun 24 Pride Day, a T-dance in Cologne, and something in Spain. Plus a “promo presence” at World Gay Pride in Rome Jul 8 and 9 (the Vatican has freaked out over Gay Pride and tried to get it shut down – unsuccessfully; the pope’s last bitter act was to denounce homosexuals… who went on partying despite His Holiness).



BBCM and DJ Stephan Grondin hit Stockholm, London, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Ibiza in August.



• And a reminder that Montreal Pride runs from Jul 31 to Aug 6 (the parade date). E-mail info@diverscite.org for details.