Ryze is a new nightclub located at College and Bathurst where Moskito used to be. Ryze often hosts special parties and guest DJs such as Hernan Cattaneo and Butch . For events like these, tickets can be purchased in advance on the website. I visited Ryze on one of the lower-key Saturday nights, so cover was free.
From the outside, Ryze can be a bit easy to miss, camouflaged behind the drunk line-ups to Sneaky Dees full of folks with fingers crossed they'll get in, and the equally drunk lineups to the ATM, with those whose fingers are crossed they won't get the insufficient funds message. Through the door and up a flight of stairs, Ryze is a large space with a few different areas to sit (if you get bottle service) or mill around with your friend (like the rest of us proletarians).
I asked the bartender for whatever he recommended drink-wise, and he made me a Sex on the Beach ($7), which was good, very sweet, and included tequila for some (not unwelcome) reason. I spent the several minutes I took downing my drink trying to analyze his cocktail Rorschach of me.
Do I look young (the reason I was hoping for) or like I can't handle a stiffer drink (probably true) or like one of those girls who goes out with her girlfriends to Moxie's for martinis even though Sex and the City has been off the air for over 10 years and then orders the ones with risqué names "just for fun" to make up for all the emptiness and lost experiences in my life (no comment)?
Like every great thinker, I was pulled out of my self-important introspection to check out the dance floor. At Ryze, this is a giant space in the middle of the club, and on this night, it was packed. While dancing at clubs can sometimes be boring ( Oh, the running man again? Girl, please. ), the dance floor was actually quite entertaining.
Several patrons were such talented dancers that people formed little circles around them to see their moves. In addition to the dancers, the lights at Ryze were amazing. Like some kind of Pied Piper on ecstasy, the lights made me want to dance more and more senselessly. Even my normally dance-averse companions noted that the hypnotic lights made busting moves (no matter how horrible) irresistible.
As I stepped back from the Edisonian wet dream, I noticed how diversely dressed the crowd at Ryze was. There was everyone from a woman wearing a gold strapless bikini top, someone in a sweatshirt, a man in a full business suit, another dude in a full jacket and scarf, and a person wearing a t-shirt that commemorated Kubrick's 1980 masterpiece, The Shining .
Usually clubs have a common "uniform" that patrons tend to abide by. It's nice, however, to see people with diverse styles gather in the same space comfortably - it shows that club attendance is driven by interest instead of how you look or dress.
If you're looking for an ostentatious club to stand around and bob your head to top 40 tracks, Ryze isn't it. Ryze is a fun dance club, perfect for jamming out to your favourite EDM DJs. Though drinks err on the side of expensive, the lights and unpretentiousness make it worth the extra cost. Just be sure to choose your drink before you order it.