The best way to describe Straight to people not familiar with Church Street, is that it's the Social of the Gayborhood. Located north of Wellseley, this 200 capacity venue in a gutted 19th century townhouse is one part lounge, one part night club.
It's been years since anyone's managed to do something fresh on Church St. that speaks to downtown folk. It's long been populated by drag shows and pitchers on patios and martini nights with big anthem house music, which is great, just gets a bit boring after a while. There are few bars or clubs in the Gay Village that get a mixed crowd, and somehow since it opened just over a year ago, Straight has it on lock.
The layout is a bit odd, but it works. It's three narrow floors, each with a bar and a small dance space. DJs spin from the top floor and that's where the most robust dance floor culminates, although the second floor is usually rammed with people mingling in a bar-like atmosphere with the music playing overhead.
The bathrooms in this place are amazing! Clean and slick and completely redesigned. And here's a little heads up, they're unisex. But if you've ever been to "boystown" you already know they all are.
In terms of the best nights to go, it really is a mixed bag. Recently both Hott Nuts and Eva Christina Presents (both born and bred at the Beaver on Queen West) have hosted parties there, which goes to show how open the crowd is. The music is dance music in it's broadest sense: house, disco, fidget, pop, hip hop, new wave, mashups and anything else that might get the crowd shaking a tail feather.
Gairy Brown's StraightBoy on Saturdays is the back bone of a host of weekly events at Straight and like Fashion Fridays or any special events, it draws a lot of young men and women between 19-30 who are well dressed, live downtown and are looking to mingle and dance. Resident DJs include Dirty Dale and Mark Falco among many returning guests.
Opened by the same owner of 24-hour cafe, 7 West , Straight is a fantastic addition to a street desperate to diversify.
Writing by Anna Von Frances