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Cabin Five

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Martha Stortz / January 3, 2013

Cabin Five bills itself as a "no-nonsense party bar that puts a premium on fun rather than worrying about velvet ropes". It's a lodge-themed club in the Club District that's been around for a few years now and owned by the same people behind The Fifth.

I recently stopped by on a Friday night at about 11pm. After walking down an alley, through a temporary chain structure, and paying $10 in cover, I finally arrived. By this time, the club was a prosopagnosic 's nightmare of blazers, plaid and tight dresses. While Cabin Five has no official dress code, the gentleman appeared to be die-hard readers of the J.Crew Winter catalogue while the ladies followed the Three H rule (heels, hair, Herve Leger).

There was no cocktail list posted in plain sight, so I asked the bartender for their signature drink. She replied that they didn't have one, so I ordered a Purple Haze. It was sweet and delicious, as the drink usually is, but for $7, I was hoping for something with a little more punch.

While the drink situation is a little disappointing, the atmosphere at Cabin Five hits all the right marks. The bar's decor evokes all those fun memories of camp minus that hazing incident that left you colour-blind in one eye. The walls are covered in wood and the bust of a deer adorns the back of the bar.

There's a large television on one side of the bar, playing what could have been a movie about skiing but might have been a super long SUV commercial. There was a DJ spinning great music for dancing. My only complaint about the music is that it was so loud I had to repeat my drink order several times, resulting in at least 45 extra seconds of sobriety, a true travesty.

While Cabin Five's decor is fun and novel, they fall a bit short on executing the theme through the other aspects. There is great potential to carry on the cabinness through themed drinks, snowboarding music, maybe even a Button, Button game a la Go Ask Alice to elicit "cabin fever" among random patrons.

I would only return to Cabin Five if I was with those friends that get drunk and talk relentlessly about their problems, as the high volume of the music would shield me from their constant complaints about their impending bankruptcy and arranged marriages.

Otherwise, I would likely not shell out the extra money to go to Cabin Five and get drunk around people who are way more attractive than me, as I can do that for much cheaper on the subway or at work.

While I would agree that Cabin Five puts a premium on fun, I would amend their statement on being a "no-nonsense party bar" to read that it is a "small amount of nonsense party bar". In spite of its shortcomings, Cabin Five is still leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors, Cabins One to Four.

Writing by Martha Stortz

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
None
Signature Drink:
None
Bar Snacks:
None
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Top 40
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Anyone who has used an acronym to describe their ethnic group, anyone who watched the show Peak Season on MTV and identified with anyone other than Lauren.
Hours:
10pm to 3am Friday and Saturday

Discussion

23 Comments

AV / January 3, 2013 at 8:25 AM
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That DJ needs a slap

R / January 3, 2013 at 8:33 AM
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Always had fun at this bar, as far as clubs go, it's got less of a 905 vibe

Arrow / January 3, 2013 at 8:51 AM
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They have live music as well?

Aaron / January 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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This is the first I've read in BlogTo's bar reviews, but if they're all as funny and snarky as this one is, I'm hooked!

Michael / January 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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What's "snowboarding music"?

slave woman sanwoo / January 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM
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Wow! Look at all 'em white people. Is that what they do for fun?

G / January 3, 2013 at 10:10 AM
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Hilarious review. Great job. I would have liked to have seen the bartender's face when you asked him/her for the cocktail list or signature drink.

Probably a Jagerbomb would have been your safest bet.

Bobby / January 3, 2013 at 10:36 AM
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so many peckerwoods in one place

MrsPotato / January 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM
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This place should be renamed 'Under 25'

Perry / January 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM
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Why are there so many hands in the air boys (woo boys)? Are you f****** tonight?

Sam / January 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM
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I've wanted to go there for such a long time, you had me at lodge-themed party bar. There needs to be more innovative and different "non-clubs" in Toronto!

James Crow In replying to a comment from slave woman sanwoo / January 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM
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I spot a black dude in that crowd, why don't you ask him?

Rich In replying to a comment from James Crow / January 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM
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Literally laughed when I read your comment... "a" black guy. Exactly

AC / January 3, 2013 at 2:28 PM
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This review was perfection. Sums up my views on Cabin Five to a tee! Pricey drinks for claiming to be no-nonsnese, with plenty of 'tude from bouncers and bartenders.

Lucas / January 3, 2013 at 3:02 PM
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If i go there, i will be the 2nd black guy.

Cam In replying to a comment from Michael / January 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM
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Think M83, MGMT, Naked & Famous, Passion Pit, The XX, etc.
At least that's what I consider snowboard music; I cannot confirm or deny that's the type of stuff they play here, never been.

Mr. Skin / January 3, 2013 at 7:30 PM
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Signature drink jajajajajajajajaja

no9o5erPuke / January 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM
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looks like any college bar in the late 90s with the non existence cloud of tobacco in the air.

Colm / January 3, 2013 at 10:07 PM
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Is this intended to be a review of this club?

Laurouu / January 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM
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This place reminds me the many many similarly "themed" bars found in Ottawa that I briefly got sucked into visiting in my uni days. Never again...never again.

Michelle / January 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM
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Cabin Five? Did they really like Camp 4 or something?

Bri / February 6, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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Does anyone know what the price of the shots are like?

TheFifthPRGirl / February 7, 2013 at 4:24 PM
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Thanks for the review! We HAD signature drinks for 2 years and nobody ever ordered them so we let the dream go... No mention of about The Shotski, a classic Cabin Five ritual! Love the "Three H rule" Hope to see everyone soon! xo

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