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Bovine Sex Club

Photo: 4 Blue Eyes

Posted by Martha Stortz / December 30, 2014

The Bovine Sex Club is one of Toronto's most well-known clubs. In operation for more than twenty years, it's home to Toronto's rock, retro, punk, metal and independent music scene.

I visited the Bovine Sex Club late one Saturday evening. Rather than a traditional bar sign bearing the name of the establishment, the outside of BSC is decorated with a visual cacophony of bicycle parts, machinery and metal, instantly recognizable to any Toronto resident.

Inside, the club is decorated in the same Hoarders-meets-Mad-Max vein.String lights and random thrift-shop treasures line the ceiling, reminiscent of an apocalyptic Christmas drive, and the walls are covered in stickers and bits of art. The space is long and narrow, with the stage at one end and a separate, quieter room at the other.

The bar occupies the length of the space, making it easily accessible during the live music shows that play nearly every night of the week. The whole venue buzzes with fun, contagious excitement, a nice departure from the usual contagious things that ravage Entertainment District clubs.

After paying the $5 cover (cover varies from $5-10 depending on the musical guest of the night), my companions and I decided upon jagerbombs ($7.25). Though j-bombs are typically a drink synonymous with trust fund frat boys, we made the exception as the Bovine Sex Club has jagermeister on tap (when in Rome... poison your body with a confusing mix of stimulants and depressants).

Though my proletariat tongue couldn't tell a huge difference between bottled and on-tap booze, drinking jagermeister at the Bovine Sex Club is a site-specific thing you just have to experience so you can tell your grandchildren you've done it, like receiving communion at St. Peter's Basilica or getting a whole cupcake to yourself from Magnolia Bakery in NYC.

As the party started to ramp up, we decided to check out BSC's new rooftop patio. The patio at the Bovine Sex Club seats around 30 patrons and is very visually pleasing with tikis, torches and an outdoor bar with a tropical cocktail list.

The patio usually has no cover (unless it's a special event). It reminds me exactly of the episode of the Brady Bunch where Mike brings the gang on his business trip to Honolulu but with less casual racism.

There are tables to sit and hang out, and the patio even has washroom huts so you don't have to fight all those stairs for every post-pina colada pee. I chose to try the Mai Tai ($13), which was deliciously strong, sweet and coconutty, tasting exactly like the summer between Grade 10 and 11 when Malibu dethroned Vex as the drink of choice. The bartender put extra care into making it, garnishing the glass with pineapple leaves and a mini-umbrella.

The Bovine Sex Club is one of Toronto's can't-miss bars. Its history as a rock institution and current role in the live music scene make it the ideal spot for music fans, and the rooftop patio propels the Bovine Sex Club into quintessential summer hangout spot status.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Signature Drink:
Bar Snacks:
Patio:
Yes
Music/Genre:
Live Music:
Yes
Who Goes There:
Hours:

Discussion

5 Comments

nat / April 1, 2008 at 6:23 PM
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yeah yeah ..... send me info...

e / January 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM
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so...this place is just a hallway. Seriously...there's no room, even when it's empty. Major let down.

k / May 6, 2010 at 8:52 PM
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That's what Rock n Roll bars look like, small and cramped. Ever heard of CBGBs?
It's not a freaking dance club.

Robert / August 3, 2010 at 8:32 AM
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It really is a hallway, but a good place to see a garage punk band or have a quick beer. It's really not that cheap if you go there on weekends.

Jennifer Galler / January 5, 2014 at 1:04 PM
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I don't know what kind of houses you guys live in, but it is not the size of a hallway, we have wayyy smaller bars in the UK, I thought the place was awesome. I had room to dance and everything! Saw two great bands for free, friendly bar staff, the other customers were friendly, would definitely go back. :)

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