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Gladstone Melody Bar

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Robyn Urback / September 24, 2011

The Gladstone Melody Bar, for me, has always been that place I visit once a month to bask in communal Simpsons nerdom. But as of this past Monday, it will now be the sleeker, more spacious-feeling place I visit once a month to bask in communal Simpsons nerdom.

Taken over and restored by the Zeidler family nearly six years ago, the Melody Bar has been persistent in its dive-bar feel and somewhat dark (intimate?) atmosphere. But those days seem to have passed. Under the direction of owner and designer Christina Zeidler, the Melody Bar now feels much brighter, roomier and a little more interesting, without being too much of a change from the old familiar.

The first thing worth noting is that the bar's old carpet has been ripped up (that deserves a hallelujah on its own) to reveal the original terrazzo floor. That subtle change makes a big difference to the overall atmosphere, but paired with the newly-white ceilings (complete with felt installations by designer Kathryn Walter), and the space just feels a whole lot brighter.

The dark, bulky booths suffocating the west wall have been exchanged for a camel-coloured banquette, which faces a long raised table with silver/grey vertical slat back stools. The wooden trim above the bar has also been painted a similar metallic-y grey.

The back area of the bar shifts to restaurant seating with bright red chairs, a mix of grandma's-old-couches vintage seating, and dark leather lounges underneath artist Orest Tataryn's fantastic light installation.

Along with the aesthetic renovations comes a new sound system--the merits of which, unfortunately, are tough to appreciate during a packed and bustling launch party. We'll have to wait for karaoke, I suppose, which will culminate the Melody Bar's week of relaunch celebrations.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Mill St. Cobblestone Stout, Mill St. Tank House, Muskoka Cream Ale, Steam Whistle, Richard's Red, Richard's White, Richard's Pale, Heineken, Export, Canadian
Signature Drink:
Bourbon Peach Sour, Gladstone Iced Tea
Bar Snacks:
Full dinner menu, smaller late night menu
Depends on the night. Most nights have free music or pwyc. Queer Cabaret Wednesdays, Indie Rock Thursdays, live band then karaoke Fridays, Country Music then karaoke Saturdays, Bluegrass Sundays
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Old-timers, hotel-guests and Parkdale locals
opens at 5pm weekdays, open at 10am Saturday/Sunday

Other Cities: Montreal