Wayward

Wayward is a nightclub located in West Queen West , in the space above The Good Son . Wayward opened in November 2014 and boasts free cover every night as well as a wide selection of bottle service starting at $190.

I visited Wayward late one Saturday evening. The club is located up a flight of stairs and then, down a hallway. It's decorated in a desecrated Victorian style, as if kids took over a fancy mansion Unaccompanied Minors -style but instead of being helpful, Wilmer Valderrama's character is actually really destructive and has access to art supplies.

There are old-timey portraits with paint slashes over the faces, pages from Shakespeare haphazardly glued on tables, and a silver tea set on the wall (which actually looks like it's in pretty good condition, so I guess the desecrated part for this is that it's not being properly used to enjoy Britain's most consumed beverage).

The space is long and narrow, with tables for bottle service lining the sides. On one end is the bar and on the other, the DJ booth. Behind the bar are the washrooms, which (beware) are not marked as to which gender they cater to - there are portraits near the entrance that indicate which is recommended for you. In front of the DJ booth is a very small open space where some people were dancing, surrounded by a sofa and two throne-like wingback chairs.

Although they seem like an odd choice for a club full of benches and sofas, the chairs add a touch of comfort-meets-classy to the room (though they remained largely unoccupied or were used as as dumping ground for coats while I was there). As it turns out, a wingback chair is an excellent place to sit and drink - that's why so many professors, philosophers and royals are alcoholics.

To complement the wingback chairs, I made my way to the bar and asked the bartender for the most popular drink. She suggested the Vice ($12), a vodka-based drink made with lemongrass. It was very sour, and while it was a little too tart for such a cold night, it would be excellent as a simultaneously thirst-quenching and drunk-getting cocktail in the summer.

Although I arrived at Wayward early, it was already pretty full, and continued to fill as the night went on. The crowd skewed young, with some students (identified through overheard conversations), a few bachelorette parties (identified by the pink sashes and loud cheering), and some bottle service partakers (identified by the bottle, proudly displayed and marched through the crowd with a flaming sparkler by the bartending team, like an East Side Mario's birthday cake but for trust fund kids instead of six-year-olds).

Despite the younger crowd and frigid weather, patrons were dressed to the nines. There was a plethora of perfectly coiffed hair, gorgeous dresses and spotless heels, which should be illegal in -10 weather. (And seriously, can't we all form a collective and agree to all look terrible while it's this cold out? My salt-stained never-fashionable imitation Uggs look even worse next to everyone else's shiny, "never been touched by poutine gravy or a homeless person's vomit" stilettos.)

Wayward seems like the ideal place for people who want a nightclub that isn't too "clubby". The drinks are on the expensive side, but there's no cover. There is some dancing but it isn't the overall focus. The DJ played a lot of Drake, which pretty much appeals to everyone. While it's not on either extreme of the dive-to-diva spectrum, Wayward runs at its own speed, which, judging from the number of happy patrons, works well for them.


Wayward

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