Media Bar has recently opened in the Club District. As someone who loves both lowbrow media (reading blind items on CDAN ) and highbrow media (I follow Ken Jennings on Twitter), I was interested to see how this bar executed the media theme. Would it be Globe & Mail style (slightly esoteric, slightly exclusive ), Toronto Star style ( unintentionally hilarious , intentionally inflammatory) or Toronto Sun style (people go mainly to see girls in revealing clothing)?
Media Bar is located in an alley behind the Hyatt Regency just off Peter Street. It's a bit difficult to find as it looks like a storage unit or one of those fake houses fire stations have to show kids about fire safety . As I was approaching the building, I was beginning to wonder if I had been lured to a cockfight or my intervention because the building looks so un-club-like from the outside (no signs, no lights, no drunk girls crying and vomiting on their phone outside). Even the guy who sells roses to people who are too drunk/awkward to say no walked by, unsure if he should start trying his schtick on the line.
As I entered the club, the bouncer informed me that cover was $15. When paying that much in cover, I want to see something exceptionally good inside like an exotic petting zoo or Celine Dion or $2 tequila shots. Though none of those things surfaced (while I was there) the club is gorgeous on the inside. It's decorated impeccably with shadow boxes filled with antique typewriters, clapperboards on the walls, and a projector playing old black and white movies.
There are sitting areas that look so nice, Mirtha Jung could host a birthday party there. The DJ really added to the fun atmosphere of the club, mashing up older songs that catered to the late-twenties demographic of the patrons (and yes, it brings tears to my eyes to refer to Notorious B.I.G.'s Hypnotize as an old song).
I asked the bartender if there was a cocktail list, but because it was opening night, set cocktails weren't in rotation yet. I asked for something delicious and he complied. My alcoholic friend identified the drink as a Killer Kool-aid by taste. For $7.50, it was good but would result in Type II diabetes if you had more than one. The club also offers white glove service (bottle service with a Michael Jackson twist).
Overall, this club left me with a good impression. The only caveat is the high cover with no price breaks for the drinks. It's clear that this club was designed for people who want to drop dollar bills when they go out. There was even a person designated to hand you a towel in the washroom - something that normally makes me uncomfortable and this time, made me extra uncomfortable because I wasn't expecting it, had no change, and had to tip her with a TTC token and two game tickets from the Cineplex Arcade.
During university, my friend and I had an understanding that if we were the ugliest or the stupidest in a class, we would drop the class (because vanity always comes first in an environment of learning). This is kind of how I felt at this club - everyone seemed like a total baller and really attractive (though I'm not sure if I was the stupidest - I tried to loudly ask trivia questions to my friend about Vimy Ridge and see if anyone jumped in with an answer, but no one did). Due to that fact, I would designate this as a place to go only if I was celebrating something really important, like a graduation or a pregnancy.
To answer my original question, I would say that Media Bar is not Globe and Mail, Toronto Star or Toronto Sun style, but HBO-AMC cable-pack style; It's a little expensive, a little nicer to look at than the norm, and you get to make your friends jealous via spoiler-ridden Facebook updates.