Thursday, December 18, 2014Cloudy -1°C
bars

Dolce Social Ballroom

Photo: Dolce Social Ballroom

Posted by Jessica McGann / January 8, 2010

If we can infer musical taste by dress style and vice-versa - one person's wallet chain and septum piercing may scream Black Flag, for example, while another person's beard says Akron Family - then nightlife venue choice must be even more telling, as it is the solid marriage of these two things. When you go to a punk club, you dress punk and listen to punk music. When you go to a sleek King West club, you dress up and listen to pop music. Where you go to party with your friends is a
statement about who you are. And there's no right or wrong - just different categories.

I say this because, going to Dolce Social Ballroom, I felt a little out of my element. More of a running shoes and beer type of barfly than a cocktail and heels club-goer, it usually takes a gimmick or a really unique draw to make me appreciate the kind of dance clubs that draw men in suits. And Dolce Social Ballroom, while a very nice space, had nothing particularly unique to win me over. But Dolce caters to a different demographic, and for (slightly!) older clubbers who want to party like they did at This Is London when they were kids, Dolce Social Ballroom is the new go-to King West destination.

The music at Dolce is a mix of what they call "house with a touch of condo." I don't know what "condo" music is, but the word developed into a kind of culture descriptor for me. "Condo" must mean that you are successful, take great care with your appearance, and like top 40s hits. You are willing to pay $20 to get into a club on King West, and prefer to go to places that describe themselves as "upscale". Most likely, you do, in fact, live in a condo. Or a nice house in the suburbs. Condo music, as it turns out, is probably a mix of
electronica, popular hits and classic rock favourites, peppered with the odd reggae number.

Looking around at the gold foil-wrapped pillars, underlit dance floor and carefully-screened 28-and-over crowd, I thought happily that perhaps 30 really is the new 20. Or, if 30 is old, then Dolce Social Ballroom is an active and bustling Miami for the well-coiffed condoland dwellers. But the club aims to be more than just an extension of the club district scene, claiming that they "aim to bring all the splintered musical and fashionable niches together" and that I can expect to see the "asymmetrical-haircut set" there among the "socialites," while attending a "raucous subculture party.". The only set I saw, however, was the "would-be socialite" set, and not an asymmetrical haircut in the bunch.

Writing by Jessica McCann

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Nothing on tap, but full slate of cocktails, spirits, domestic and imported beers, and wine
Signature Drink:
Cocktails
Bar Snacks:
Tapas menu
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
“House with a touch of condo”, Top 40s, classic rock, pop hits
Live Music:
Yes
Who Goes There:
Grown-up clubbers, King West crowd, 905ers
Hours:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10pm -3am

Discussion

31 Comments

cocoa / January 9, 2010 at 11:26 AM
user-pic

haha, well written

and then. / January 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM
user-pic

2 months, max. mediocrity.

C / January 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM
user-pic

Looks and sounds like a destination for douches

30 Year Old With Asymmetrical Haircut / January 9, 2010 at 5:12 PM
user-pic

Sounds lame!

moo / January 9, 2010 at 5:51 PM
user-pic

I have been reading blog TO for about a year now and most of the articles are pretty well written and cool. However, I think covering King St W venues really falls far from Blog TOs target reader. I read this and kinda wish I could unread it.

mr. hood / January 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM
user-pic

jessica, for once i agree,

having been there a few times(like to see whats new in the industry), i thought it was pleasing to look at, and you can tell a lot of thought went into the design(see washroom doors)..

the place looks great, and offers a great sound system to boot..
I liked the look of the club, and found this to be good, however, like you, i found the club to be lacking in any sort of "real" atmosphere... as for the condo types.. maybe some of them are the condo types, but how many of them are trust fund babies, daddys little girl, mommas boy, etc etc that havent really had to be successful... (we call them 905'ers)

i found that guys go there to pick up, do the bottle service thing, and impress girls
girls go to be seen in their new dress.. have drinks bought for them by said guys. and while this may be the norm for most nightclubs... it seems to be accentuated in this place..

being there when it first opened, to now, i can say bar service has improved, and you can get a drink rather quick...

although i dont belong to this crowd, its easy to blend in here. No one is really paying attention to you, but rather themselves!

the music is usually good, and its easy to get a dance on!

if you go there looking for a club experience, you will find it, if you are looking to find something deeper.. maybe trek on somewhere else,

Eric26 / January 9, 2010 at 6:04 PM
user-pic

People go to clubs looking for 'depth'?

5andman / January 9, 2010 at 6:07 PM
user-pic

I'm sure Dolce wants to distinguish itself from the rest of it's competitors.

But, it's always about the bottomline -- $$$

Dolce will just fade into mediocrity blandness like the rest of places on King Street.

Christian / January 9, 2010 at 6:48 PM
user-pic

This review is more a critique of the social group that patronize clubs like Dolce, the now defunct Parklane, and This Is London, etc.

I found the service to be poor which soured my experience, I probably won't return.

Gus / January 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM
user-pic

you're a sad bunch of hippies haha

Anon / January 10, 2010 at 2:10 AM
user-pic

This club looks like Jay-Z threw up all over it. Ick.

Anon / January 10, 2010 at 2:11 AM
user-pic

This club looks like Jay Z threw up all over it. Ick.

416 not 905 / January 10, 2010 at 2:22 AM
user-pic

If you felt 'a little out of your element', why did you review it?

I've been to Dolce a several times and not only was it packed with gorgeous guys and beautiful women every time, it wasn't filled with 19 year olds pouring vodka down each others throats. This nightclub is obviously catering to the older demographic and they're doing it with standards. I can't knock them for that.

The sound system is amazing, the staff are great and it really is a beautiful venue. I agree that they need to add something to set them apart from the rest of the King Street clubs, but I'm hoping that will come in time.

Tina P / January 11, 2010 at 11:14 AM
user-pic

From the outside - this club looks like a stripclub...I'm with and then. on - 2 months max

Tina P / January 11, 2010 at 11:14 AM
user-pic

From the outside - this club looks like a stripclub...I'm with and then. on - 2 months max

WTF / January 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM
user-pic

The place smelled liked the Bank Note next door.
I could almost hear the cod frying in the vats.

Dump this place and put an acutal condo up instead.

This place is as awesome as State Theatre around the corner.

Smoker / January 11, 2010 at 3:36 PM
user-pic

Pretty sure Tie Domi owns it or was an investor. I work right beside it and always saw him roll up and go in while I was out having a smoke.

Rob / January 11, 2010 at 4:22 PM
user-pic

I've been wondering about this place as I see it twice a day from the King streetcar. I can't help but wonder when it's massive beige stucco facade will become the most sought after canvas for taggers?

Rob / January 11, 2010 at 4:49 PM
user-pic

Also, I don't doubt this place is a magnet for douchebag guys and gold digging shallow bitches, though in my old age, I'm not sure if I actually dislike these people because of who they are or because I'm threatened by beautiful women and alpha males. Hmmmmm....

Moron / January 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM
user-pic

do you research, Jessica. there is a rooftop patio.

Michael In replying to a comment from cocoa / February 4, 2010 at 7:52 PM
user-pic

LOL... I occasionally skim through this site to see if there's anything new happening in my neighborhood! But come'on now the street kids that are writing these articles and reviews shouldn't be allowed to own a computer! Stick to the Black Bull on Queen. King west is about money, style and class have a look at the condos, hotels going in "fashion house" and "The Thompson" not exactly the hoodie skateboard type of place. Google the big bop and chat with each other if that's what you enjoy. I live, eat and party in king west and I'm 37 years old and I love spots like Kiwi, Spice, Dolce people need to have a look at there life and what they're reviewing before they post! Seriously!

DarlingClementine In replying to a comment from Michael / February 18, 2010 at 7:15 PM
user-pic

Ed Hardy, right Michael? *nudge-wink*

Is it ironic to anyone else that a place that has as much style as Michael proclaims King St W has, actually calls a condo 'fashion house'? Am I missing something?

Chris / April 22, 2010 at 1:33 PM
user-pic

I have been to Dolce many times. No other club compares when it comes to decore and attention to detail. The staff are all beautiful not to mention the crowd. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you want to stick to the kiddy clubs then thats fine. Dolce is a 28 and older venue I believe and thats what sets it apart. Mature crowd, well dressed and looking to have a good time. Dolce in my opinion will be the hot spot for sure!

HA / May 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM
user-pic

Terrible place. I'm a 21 year old professional model... I got hit on by piles of old men ("Hey sexy, can I buy you a drink? Maybe we can go to my 'look how modern I am' condo after?") and just... didn't have a good time. My girlfriends and I left and went to a place up the street soon after arrival.

Never again. There's NO way I'm going back to spend a penny of my hard earned cash ever again!

5andman In replying to a comment from HA / May 3, 2010 at 12:23 PM
user-pic

Re: HA comments.

Well HA, it doesn't help that you're a "21 year old professional model" and you're hitting King Street where Ed Hardy/Affliction T shirts rule?

KB In replying to a comment from HA / May 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM
user-pic

You're kidding right? A 21 year old professional model? Hard-earned cash? Piles of old men? What's old to you, sweetheart? 26?

You went to a 28+ venue, what exactly did you expect?

Betty / June 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM
user-pic

I live in the neighbourhood and this venue makes my skin crawl and makes me embarressed to live so close to it. It looks like a weird strip club from the outside and based on the kinds of people I've seen lined up I plan to never set foot inside there. Jersey Shore does King West. Barf. Is it too much to ask for a nice yet casual lounge that doesn't attract steriod douches from the suburbs?

Lame / August 22, 2010 at 10:27 PM
user-pic

The absolute worst club/nightlife experience. Arrived with a reservation for 17 guests for a birthday, was offered a "booth" the size of a bench with a tiny side table that couldn't fit any drinks, in the middle of a walkway while being served by an incompetent hostess which at the end of the night gave a desperate sob story to be tipped although it was included in the tab. So disappointed with this place, was expecting much more. 28 and older, mature crowd, well dressed??? This place was filled with a bunch of goofs. I second Jersey Shore meets King West. Lame and pathetic. Just a bunch of cookie cutter, no culture, "let's spend our paycheck getting wasted every weekend" crowd. Never again.

Lame / August 22, 2010 at 10:27 PM
user-pic

The absolute worst club/nightlife experience. Arrived with a reservation for 17 guests for a birthday, was offered a "booth" the size of a bench with a tiny side table that couldn't fit any drinks, in the middle of a walkway while being served by an incompetent hostess which at the end of the night gave a desperate sob story to be tipped although it was included in the tab. So disappointed with this place, was expecting much more. 28 and older, mature crowd, well dressed??? This place was filled with a bunch of goofs. I second Jersey Shore meets King West. Lame and pathetic. Just a bunch of cookie cutter, no culture, "let's spend our paycheck getting wasted every weekend" crowd. Never again.

Jonesy / September 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM
user-pic

Went to Dolce a few times over the last three months, mainly on Thursdays. Many of these posts are a little older and pre-date what I consider to be the best patio in the city. I always have a great time when I go, mainly because the music is great, the venue is upscale it is free of young kiddies spilling drinks.

I was there during TIFF and there was a bunch of celebs there drinking, dancing etc. Was pretty cool to see Kevin Spacey drinking and mingling instead of hidden in a corner. This is the type of venue that makes them feel at home rather than the main attraction.

Agreed that it is on the high-end, especially for the Queen St. blogging community. But to be fair, it is a on King Street, in the fashion district and accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: Provide high-end entertainment for the 28&over crowd.

Personally, its my favourite club and I'm already anxious for the patio summer.

mulching / April 7, 2013 at 4:34 AM
user-pic

Instead, put grass clippings to use as mulch for your garden.
Wear disposable gloves to keep from directly touching feces.
Depending on the density of the mulch, one should lay
two to six inches of mulch over topsoil in the vegetable
garden.

Add a Comment


Other Cities: Montreal