Opinion
2 min

Deep Dish: MoJo Lounge and Church

Rolyn braves the heat and takes the night.

Electra Couture, Ivory Towers, Greg, Bobbie-Joe Bonton and Catherine Dior strike a pose at MoJo. Credit: Rolyn Chambers

Check out the slideshow at the top for more photos!

Fri, July 5 @ MoJo Lounge

On one of the hottest nights of the summer, I spy with my sweaty eye two people, half naked, trying to keep cool in a walk-in fridge. Both have just finished performing to a packed crowd of dirty young things on the stage of Toronto’s newest eclectic mashup nightclub experience. Sometimes more gay, sometimes more straight, MoJo Lounge on Dundas West is capitalizing on this area’s hipster rejuvenation. Trendy restaurants, hip bars and chic clothing companies now dot the landscape once occupied by shops owned by Portuguese families. The brainchild of partners Monty T and Joey Viola (Mo and Jo), they worked their asses off for a couple years building their MoJo Productions brand with one-off parties and their weekly industry-night party, FML Mondays, at The Vic. Part dance club, part lounge, part performance stage, MoJo’s attracting some interesting names. Scott Fordham’s performed here, Massari played here a week later and an even bigger star is rumoured to be in negotiations to perform soon. Tonight, however, the stage belongs to opener Cassandra Moore and headliner Willam, who appeared on Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Both burn up the stage so much they need to cool off. Which is why they are in the fridge. “It’s so hot,” Willam cries out. “I’m dripping.”

Wed, July 17 @ Church 

On one of the hottest nights of the summer, I spy with my sweaty eye two guys, dressed in denim, trying to keep cool on Church Street. Both are DJs and both work together. But not tonight. It’s too hot for DJ Blackcat and his sidekick DJ Pleasure to be mixing anything other than a cocktail. It’s definitely too hot inside Church, where it seems there are about the same number of people dancing to DJ Sumation as there are outside seeking refuge from the heat. But it is College Night, after all, the long-standing mighty mid-week weekly that has seen more rebirths than Madonna’s career. Papa don’t preach, I’m dating a baby– remember when College Night was at 5ive Nightclub, then briefly at Alibi, then The Barn? Messy memories. Tonight the promise of out-of-class students attracts many regulars, like fast-talking twink-terror Nicholas Silverie and quick-witted tranny-terror Tatiana. The club itself is changing weekly. A new bar one week, an improved DJ booth another, and new little knick-knacks to make the spot more visually appealing are always being added. But when it comes down to it, as the once-legendary club owner Peter Gatien once said, “You can adorn your walls with gilt and gold, but it’s the people inside your club that make it last.” Unless it’s too hot. Then get a better air conditioner.