If you go to Suba Nightclub at College and Spadina, you should go after midnight and you should be young and it will also probably be helpful if you are slightly (to fully) hard of hearing. If you go around 11:30pm like I did, you will be the only patron there and there won't be any other bodies in the space to absorb the WALL OF SOUND coming from the live DJs. You won't be able to order a drink because the bartender can't hear you, and you will really start to wonder what you are doing there.
"SPICED RUM!" I hollered at the bartender, both of us rendered deaf by the wall-rattling decibel of the music, "SPICED rum!" After a few minutes of this, he at last looked at me with dawning comprehension and mouthed, "RUM AND COKE?" So the first thing is, don't order anything fancy unless you have a pen and paper or another non-verbal way of communicating it.
I would've liked to sit but the only seats were around a small scattering of tables near the speakers from which The Wall Of Sound was booming. The prospect of standing at the bar drinking white rum and Coke and destroying the last tenuous fibres of my eardrums was daunting. But that isn't to say that Suba isn't a perfectly enjoyable place to be. The thing is, I am, like, 90 years old. I am as old as the hills. But you - you are young! I am sure you are young and you like to party. Suba is for you! Me... I like cats and housecoats and I have arthritis in one toe. I'd rather sit in front of the TV with some moonshine.
Back in the 20th century, though, when I was your age, I used to go to clubs like Suba and I used to have a swell time. A Latin club on the cusp of Little Italy, Suba has live DJs every night (Wed-Sun), spinning R&B, reggae, hip-hop, salsa and merengue, and a variety of events. These are theme nights for the most part, with pricey cover charges, so be sure to check out their website at subaclub.ca, or their Facebook page, "House Your Body", before you go.
Most of Suba's event posters have "Dress code in effect" splashed across them, so the bouncers won't let you in if you look like a total slob. But even if you're shelling out $20-$30 to get in, the vibe up in the club is decidedly more after-hours club than swanky ballroom - unadorned and virtually furniture-free, Suba's bare bones space is designed to house noise and dancing bodies, and noise and dancing bodies only.
If you're in your early twenties and you get dressed up to go out on College St and you recognize any of the following names: DJ Edwin "El Sonido", DJ Johan "El Paisa", DJ Picante, or MC Baby Black... then grab your hair straightener and go have fun before you become an old fart like me!
If you're on the other side of 25, though, and your style is more jukeboxes and irony, you might just want to trot on down a block to Augusta Ave and see what's shaking in Kensington Market instead.
Writing by Jessica McGann
- Beers on Tap:
- Canadian, Heineken, Coors Light
- Signature Drink:
- Rum and Coke
- Bar Snacks:
- Live DJs, electronic, Latin, house, reggae, R&B
- Live Music:
- Who Goes There:
- Clubbers, 20-somethings
- Wednesday to Sunday, 10pm-2am