Robert Borden, former bartender at Alibi and Crews & Tango, is the new owner of Elevate, Toronto’s “hottest new dancebar.”
Occupying Statler’s former space at 487 Church St, Elevate — a two-storey complex — features multiple stages and dancefloors. Regular DJs and drag shows are scheduled, and Sofonda and Divine, both of whom Borden counts among his besties, are already pinned for weekly slots.
Though the owner plans to preserve Statler’s “elegance,” he says guests won’t find any elderly drag queens sprawled across a baby grand at Elevate.
“It’s a beautiful space, but it’s not a piano lounge,” he says. “The goal is to be classy and not trashy — a place where everyone can get along and have fun.”
The club’s grand opening was March 24 with an event entitled Boys Nite Out, hosted by Sofonda with a performance by Girlicious.
Borden says plans to take over the property got underway last year, when the economic recession appeared to be choking out businesses on Church St.
When asked about the imminent reopening of Crews, Borden barely bats an eyelash. “Competition is good,” he says.