bassline bar

Toronto bar that suddenly closed resolves landlord dispute and is back open

A Toronto bar and music venue that suddenly closed last weekend announced its surprising reopening.

Bassline Music Bar is back up and running tonight and has more events planned for this weekend. 

"It's a permanent reopening," owner Craig Kovacs says. "Now we're cleaning the place up, giving it a little bit of a paintjob, making it look all nice for everybody. We're back at it."

Kovacs sounded incredibly optimistic about Bassline's future this time around. Negotiations with the landlord resolved thanks to his business partner CJ, who "did a bit of fancy footwork over the past couple of days." 

"It's been a whirlwind," he says. "I give my hats off to him." 

So why did Bassline initially close? The widely-shared notice of lockout created tons of gossip online. "Basically, it was my landlord trying to get my attention, which worked. It got my attention. I kind of fell behind on life and wasn't returning as many phonecalls as I should have. So when you don't do that, people get upset. My partner CJ, he's the one that sorted things out there."

"Mistakes have been fixed, there's good people out there, and people wanna help or try. Everyone thinks it's so cold and the way I look at it -- the landlord's not your enemy. You work together. My success is her success ... Everything's a partnership," Kovacs explains.

"We've been here for over a decade and there's hiccups everywhere. This one was a little bit more noticeable, but this stuff happens all the time," Kovacs says. It's also good to know if you put your mind to something you can overcome these kinds of things."

He wants everyone to know they're just getting the place all spiffed up, ready for an official return on Wednesday, Mar. 29. "Come on back. I appreciate all the support that everyone gave us over this time -- overwhelmingly positive."

Kovacs is very grateful for the community outreach. "At one point I was like, why do I care? I get all this crap to deal with and then once that happened, everyone seemed to be positive. Even though I hear it all the time, I didn't see that. I couldn't see the forest for the trees."

The venue's latest posts invite you to "Show love for our reopening this Wednesday!" Tonight's drum & bass-centric weekly Wasabi Wednesday has been running for over five years. 

Fast Entertainment will regularly host lineups on Thursdays and Fridays. This week they present Thursday Night Sessions on Mar. 30 and Revival - House Music on Saturday, Apr. 1. 

Last week, Kovacs told blogTO, "What I accomplished with Bassline is exactly what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be a hub for DJs to come out. You’re not doing this for the money, let me tell you that. I got everything I wanted." 

Bassline Music Bar will continue being the sole venue in the city providing open decks for DJs and a place for multi-genre electronic music all week long. 

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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