MoJo Lounge is a new place to party on Dundas West . Part venue and part club, this is the first permanent space for event planning company MoJo Toronto . As a company, MoJo Toronto hosts some impressive parties- from weekly viewings of RuPaul's Drag Race to dance parties featuring some of Toronto's best DJs to album release celebrations — so I was excited to check out the new venue. As someone who worships at the church of RuPaul, I was even more excited.
Finally, a bar in the west end where I can contour to my heart's content without fear of looking like Madonna post-workout, dress like Michelle Visage without worrying about arrests for soliciting, tell people to werk without concern for sounding like a communist leader.
I headed over to MoJo Lounge on a busy Saturday night after hitting up Lakeview Diner for some pre-drinking beer and pre-dancing disco fries. MoJo Lounge is located at the bottom of a stone staircase which creates this feeling of being the drag version of Louis CK walking down the steps of Comedy Cellar. The club is small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in smoke machines (watch out, asthmatics), multicoloured lights (watch out, epileptics) and white furniture (watch out, everyone except the interior designers from Mob Wives).
At 11:30, the club was dead so my companions and I headed to a nearby bar and returned at 12:45. When we came back, the club was still pretty empty. There was no cover ( good ) and I ordered a vodka soda ($6) which appeared to be made with mostly vodka and a teaspoon of soda ( better ) which accompanied the bowls of party mix on the table ( best ). Though I loved the addition of party mix on the table, it seems like an odd choice — how are you supposed to get your dance on with cheeto fingers?
Should you sexily lick orange dust off your hands as you twerk it? Is the party mix supposed to be an ice breaker? If you hate the pretzels and someone across the room is only eating the pretzels, are you meant to be together? Do the pretzel rods and ringolos together in one mix, touching but not together, impacting but not inserting, symbolize the sexual tension associated with dance venues and dating in the youtube generation?
The seating in the lounge is set up like a wedding (the focal point the stage with a small dance floor in the middle for your drunk uncle to embarrass himself with "sexy" "dancing"). Because the lounge functions as a venue much of the time, it makes sense to have it set up like this, however, when there is nothing on stage, it feels as empty as the All Star season of Drag Race post — Jujubee .
With live music and performances every Wednesday, MoJo Lounge is on its way to solidifying its role as a top-notch venue, but is definitely more of an event space than it is a club.
With this in mind, I will definitely return to MoJo Lounge to see the drag performances (and already have my ticket to see Willam in late June) but might give it a few months to find its footing before returning to get my dance on. Mojo Lounge, shante, you stay — but don't fuck it up .