when will nightclubs reopen

Toronto nightclubs probably won't reopen until a COVID-19 vaccine is found

Say goodbye to nightclubs for good, says one of Toronto's most prolific nightclub and restaurant owners.

Charles Khabouth, whose multi-national enterprise INK Enterainment is responsible for certified summer staples like Rebel, Toybox, and Cabana Pool Bar, doesn't have an optimistic outlook on the future of the city's nightlife. 

"Nightclubs are gone. Gone," Khabouth told the Financial Post. "One million per cent. Until a vaccine is found."

"You cannot space people out in a nightclub. That’s not a nightclub. I can’t make little cubes six feet apart, get people to pay a cover charge, then tell them to go and stand in a cube. No, no, it just doesn’t work."

Khabouth has been the hand behind some of the city's defining nightlife fixtures since the 1980s (including now-closed Club Z and Guvernment), so his diagnosis on the scene isn't promising. 

With the forced closure of bars and nightclubs now lasting over two months, some of Toronto's most beloved watering holes, bra-filled dive bars, boozy basementstiki bars, and rooftop rodeos for cheap thrills, have been forced to fold in the face of looming commercial rents and no end to the pandemic in sight. 

While restaurants have been able to resume operations for takeout, delivery, and dine-in sometime in the foreseeable future, nightclubs have no such hope — gatherings of more than 5 people aren't even allowed yet. 

Just earlier this month, South Korea saw an outbreak of new cases in Seoul's nightlife district, Itaewon, where nightclubs and bars had reopened following a sharp flattening of the curve. They've since been closed down again, indefinitely. 

That means business owners like Khabouth will have to pivot to survive. According to the entrepreneur, he has plans to turn Cabana Pool Bar into a restaurant, open seven days a week, with bookings made in advance — whatever it takes to reopen. 

Lead photo by

Toybox


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

This is how a 40-year-old restaurant has survived in Toronto for all these years

Toronto izakaya chain keeps launching the most unique ghost kitchens

Toronto bakery owner tells customers to hold off on the unnecessary criticism

10 Toronto takes on the Big Mac

140 bars and restaurants that closed in Toronto since the start of the pandemic

Popular ramen chain from Japan just opened its first Toronto location

5 Japanese cheesecakes in Toronto you need to try at least once

Toronto restaurant owners letting customers know what they think of Adamson BBQ