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Studio Bar

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / April 23, 2014

Studio Bar is the latest multiuse venue to open on Dundas West, after a long struggle. That must be a relief to owners Sebastian Lye, Alex Ottens and Mike Bodor, who have had the 4000-square-foot event space (with an approximately 300-person capacity) near-ready for months. The wait is finally over, and already it has a steady stream of events and shows that have the space transformed nightly.

No pulling back the veil BS or hidden entranceway here. Studio Bar is exposed - the entrance is a wall of windows streaming in light. But that's only the beginning. After the foyer, and a food display station where they do the finishing prep on their tapas dishes, the room opens up into a bar and performance area complete with stage.

Moving toward the back, you pass the fully stocked bar and a DJ area. Décor details are pleasing, including exposed brick and some drop lighting over the bar with candles for extra ambience. The walls feature whatever paintings or photographs happen to be featured. Overall though, the space is left unadorned, waiting for the latest function to put its individual imprint on the room.

This makes it perfect for a variety of music bookings and promotions, weddings and other receptions, pop-ups, parties, film screenings, comedy shows - even daytime rentals for yoga classes or retail. Basically any event you can think of that needs a multifunctional space, Studio Bar can accommodate. Oh - and you can just casually pop in for a snack or a beer, too. The owners and staff are warm and engaging.

The bar has a series of beers on tap (Boneshaker is $7.50, Spring Bock is $8.50, or have a Wellington or Heineken for $6.50 to name a few); bar rail cocktails, when not on special, run you about $6.50 each. The bar is available for pop-up food and chef events. When I stopped by, the tapas menu included hand made bacon and shrimp dumpling served on enoki mushrooms and Napa cabbage slaw ($8.50), mini falafels with pita and hummus, a candy beet goat cheese roulade and a chocolate fondue platter.

From where I was sitting, I could see the cook prepping one of the fondues, which included a bubbling three-tiered mini chocolate fountain accompanied by graham crackers, marshmallows, licorice and fresh fruit ($10). Imagine hanging out, watching a band or DJ play, crushing a couple pints and treating yourself to a chocolate fountain? Until that moment, I never thought it possible to combine the pleasures of libation, music and chocolate fondue anywhere but the confines of my own apartment. I think the combination is hilariously awesome - and gave me an all round good vibe from Studio Bar.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Boneshaker, Spring Bock, Heineken, Wellington
Signature Drink:
Beers and bar rail drinks
Bar Snacks:
Tapas menu featuring snacks and desserts
Whoever books the space
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Dundas West locals, 19-to-40-year-olds
Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to 2am



Damien / April 23, 2014 at 8:01 AM


With so many talented people in the city this is what they came up with? UGH. Pink and Brown? UGH X a million.

Terryreal / April 23, 2014 at 8:37 AM

$6.50 beers/drinks, good luck with that.

Also, where is the stage? looks like a few wide columns throughout the space, not exactly ideal for concerts.

I give it 8-10months before collapse.

Abi / April 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

They apply for variance to open a restaurant in an R2 residential zone and then switch to bar/concert venue. NOT COOL!

roctop In replying to a comment from Damien / April 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Yeah, but the big windows on the outside let passersby watch the bar-fights without having to go inside.

Anna / April 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

That last picture makes it look like a laundry mat :(

pizzaface / April 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I hate crapping on independent start ups and want to see them all succeed, but this doesn't look very appealing at all.

Well, I like it! / April 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Was there for an event last night and it was great! Space was really well suited for a large gathering, and $6.50 seems pretty reasonable for a pint.
As for the neighbourhood, there were about 200 people there last night, and I couldn't hear anything from outside when I was on the street. It can't be any worse than Magpie having full concerts with their windows wide open.

M-Rock / April 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I've DJ'd here, and it was one of the best gigs I've had last year, the locals made it amazing, they were dancing on the tables, it was kinda nuts.

Greg / April 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Barbie fucking dolls on the walls. Give me a break.

J Cash / April 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I've been to Studio — it doesn't look anything like these photos. For one thing there is no harsh lighting, purple lighting, or barbie dolls to be found there. The space is much more dimly lit and inviting at night. I think this was a private party from awhile back... might want to update your pics.

Marc / April 24, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Went in for a pint and chacuteri last week. I think they're still putting on the finishing touches, but the food was amazing so I'll be back. Quite a few hotties there too which is not a bad thing.

Josh / May 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

This picture definitely doesn't pay the space justice. Ive been to Studio Bar a few times now and the atmosphere is always great. Worth checking out if you're in the area and looking to have drinks and a snack .

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