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Uniun Nightclub

Photo: Hannah Jor

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / November 21, 2012

Uniun Nightclub is almost self-consciously a nightclub. Brought to you by "nightlife king" (and you know he must be growing weary of that title) Charles Khabouth and Ink Entertainment, it was conceived as being "the first of its kind," with LED-light installations, top-of-the-line sound system, and the industrial appeal of the original space (which previously housed Devil's Martini).

Open for just over a week, Uniun is a dizzying mish-mash of influences and aspirations that actually, surprisingly, work. You enter through the old-familiar factory archway and into a dim, cavernous space, that (despite being 16,000 feet) is packed by midnight, making moving to and fro a writhing conga line.

It's hard to say what won me over here, as opposed to other clubs I've visited in my mid-to-late twenties, but it could be the uber-stylish crowd (including spottings of Lucian Matis and the Greta Constantine duo), or the successful contrast of factory, pseudo-antiques, and modern technology.

There are cordoned off VIP booths, and there's an overall fogginess (the source of which is hard to identify), but the LED lights, which line the walls and ceilings, and also come in the form of hanging vines, pulsate in time to the music, and several flat-screens display trippy images. Behind the dark wood of the main bar area, you'll find beautiful, bandage-dressed and leather-corseted servers doing their best with the regular club roster of bottled beers, Red Bulls, and a bottle service menu that ranges from $200-$2,000. Cocktails run between $8.25 and $12.50, and their Belvedere blackberry martinis are well-balanced and slightly tart.

Above the bottles is a series of shelves displaying Lady Gaga-ish curiosities--from taxidermied birds posed amongst flowers in glass jars, to apothecary details, to a ceramic skull displaying phrenological areas of the brain.

The club is currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 10 p.m., and on Friday nights--which are intended for known electronic acts and their ready-to-sweat fan base--the party goes 'til 4 a.m. I stopped by on a Saturday, and the DJ played throwback tunes, top 20s, and a particularly discordant remix of Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know," while two topless, body-painted go-go dancers (wearing space-age-inspired goggles to avoid eye contact) gyrated atop wooden platforms in the middle of the large dance floor.

There's a subterranean element, as well. Downstairs, there's the coat check, and--down a somewhat seedy, blue-tinged corridor--you'll find bathrooms, a lounge area, as well as another bar (in case you very urgently need your G&T refreshed). It seems Khabouth has, yet again, thought of everything.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
None, but bottles of Heineken, Coors, Corona, and Molson Canadian
Signature Drink:
Belvedere blackberry martini
Bar Snacks:
None as of yet
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Electronic
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Dressed-up fans of electronic music, beautiful people in their 20s and 30s
Hours:
Friday (10 p.m. - 4 a.m.) and Saturday (10 p.m. - 3 a.m.)

Discussion

20 Comments

*yawn* / November 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM
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Sounds like a bit of a douche haven. The Toronto club scene would be better served by more venues like Footwork, and fewer like Century Room and Maison. People that go to a club in suits, or skin tight dresses and 6-inch heels aren't interested in dancing, and don't give a crap about the music. Pretty sure I won't be checking this place out.

dan derbridge / November 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM
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905 douchebags. In Manhattan they're called bridge and tunnel people.

rave master / November 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM
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Are glow-sticks allowed in the VIP?

cjergl / November 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM
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Every time I read the name - it reads "onion"

j-rock In replying to a comment from dan derbridge / November 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM
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In London (UK), they're "Essex Girls" or "Sharon and Traceys", although I'm not aware of any male equivalents. Seems a bit unfair just picking on the ladies.

Esto / November 21, 2012 at 11:43 AM
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The venue itself seems interesting, but their Friday lineup outside of C&C on opening night is leaving a little to be desired.

Of the new venues popping up, (M) seems to be a little more promising and a nice alternative to Footwork.

Khristopher In replying to a comment from *yawn* / November 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM
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I couldn't agree more. Looks like a beautiful space, but filled with people I couldn't stand to be around.

TK / November 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM
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Agree with these comments. There are so little dance options in this city. I'm not looking to get dolled up and dance to shitty remixes of Top 40. Where's the Dance Cave for people in their 30s? Where can I sweat buckets and bust a move to Cut Copy, Chromeo and Robyn with a little 'Mr. Brightside' thrown in now and then?!

Sandy In replying to a comment from TK / November 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM
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I agree with you. There is nothing in-between. Maybe Cherry Colas. Not really close to the music you mentioned but are there any other options??

MC / November 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM
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All straight clubs are douche bag havens. Because of the music Its the type of crowd you attract to these venues and toronto is the hub for all these 905ers. Not like that will change though. This could be an awesome venue if you get the right people to go to it. Otherwise your club is gonna be a shithole, like guvernment, this is london, and all the rest bordering the richmond/kingstreet clubbing district. The best parties will always stay away from these kinds of venues so to you rave heads, pop some pills and go nuts because these are your shitholes that the cool kids will stay away from.

Cheers

beer crime / November 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM
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BEERS ON TAP:
None, but bottles of Heineken, Coors, Corona, and Molson Canadian

What a useless sh*thole of a bar.

JK / November 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM
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Went there once. All douche. And all you cool people deserves better.

Peter / December 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM
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If anyone needs VIP Bottle Service or Guestlist, contact me at

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=172000276&ref=profile

Peter / December 14, 2012 at 9:41 AM
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GUESTLIST AND VIP BOTTLE SERVICE AVAILABLE AT INFO@EDMFIX.CA

Dboyest / December 14, 2012 at 8:44 PM
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905ers reunite!!!
Bridge and tunnel fools with button downs and sparklers in $400 bottles! Poppin collars all night! Then out to the street fights for some entertainment while slobbering down on shawarmas.

Sounds like a perfect night out.

Why don't these people stay in Brampton or wherever they're from. It's so embarrassing.

J In replying to a comment from Dboyest / December 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM
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cool story brand tell it again

Baron / March 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM
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Being more into rock/metal, these kinda places never held much appeal to start with. I was always drawn to Club 102 @ The Phoenix, which which was a pretty relaxed and a very interesting and eclectic crowd. The only thing around now like that, is Tattoo Rock Parlour, which can't hold a candle to what Club 102 was. Also fun (for a while) was Republik, when The Edge hosted Friday nights. Alt/Rock/Metal in the main room, Top 40/Dance in the other room. The reaction of some of the typical douchey/pop collared "Bro's" when they found themselves in the middle of a mosh pit surround by long haired, tattooed metalheads was always priceless.

Frank Z / January 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM
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I love the music and vibe of this club but yeah, the dress code is a joke.

I went to Uniun for a rave after-party (it was promoted as such) with the expectation that the dress code was relaxed. I even called them in advance to confirm this. When I arrived there the bouncer told me that I was underdressed (I didn't have collars) but he would let me in if I paid him extra. I paid up but that put me in a sour mood for the rest of the night. I called management the following day and they said that all entry decisions are ultimately up to the bouncers.

Peggy / February 6, 2014 at 12:10 AM
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I was tackled by the bouncers brutally for being tipsy. I am a female professional with zero history of breaking the law, or ever being kicked out of anywhere. I was there just to have a good time. The force they used was unnecessary and they wouldn't let my friends help to let me leave after crying and screaming for them to stop with the physical force.

I LEFT WITH 16 BRUISES AND A CONCUSSION. I now have poor physical coordination because of how brutally physical they got, for what a tipsy person to leave?

Here's what you need to know about a bouncers rights:

In 99% of the nightclubs out there, bouncers are simply normal employees, not actual "security personnel" (who require special training and permits). This means that the authority of a bouncer is the same as any ordinary citizen. Bouncers have no special right to physically eject a customer who becomes drunk or obnoxious, any more than a waiter at a cafe does.

You might be surprised that, as far as the law is concerned, a bouncer can only ASK you to leave, and if you refuse, to then call the police and have you removed. This is not to say that if he puts his hand on your back, "guiding" you to the door, he has committed a crime, but a bouncer has no more right to physically assault you than anyone else does.

George / February 17, 2014 at 1:39 AM
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You people above, who are hating on people that go to this club must realize that any nightclub will have people on drugs and so on. From my perspective, if you are saying that popping MDMA is the reason that makes Uniun crowd worse from other crowds must double-check your bias. 1) MDMA is never the cause of violence ANYWHERE. It's always DRUNKS that cause trouble. I can guarantee you that you will have better time with people that are on Ex than people who are drunk 2)This club is aimed at a very specific type of genre called EDM, so if you are going there for any other reason but to listen to EDM music you ARE coming in the wrong place. Music is what ticks this place 3) EDM crowd is always far better than any other type of music crowd because we are all about PLUR peace/love/unity/respect. We are the sub-culture and like any other sub-cultures we have our fundamental elements that we adhere..;)

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