Step inside the recently re-launched Melody Bar at The Gladstone Hotel on any Friday or Saturday night and you’ll immediately notice one thing: karaoke. Recently “re-launched” to great fanfare, The Melody Bar now boasts a revitalized karaoke-friendly space featuring art installations by Dennis Lin, Kathryn Walter and Orest Tataryn. There’s nothing like an in-house contemporary art exhibit to make drinking, and singing and drinking, feel like a cultural event.
Drink, you shall. Top-shelf mixologists were on hand to work the bar at the re-launch party, serving up Mill Street Organic Lager alongside cocktails and wine. Platters of goodies created by executive chef Marc Breton circulated among the crowd, reminding everyone that, yes, there’s a kitchen back there and it’s damn good. Chief among their house specialties are organic beef burgers, perfectly paired with a couple of cold pints.
Though we were cutting loose at the media gathering on the 19th, Melody Bar festivities will continue until the 25th. Beyond this week are a host of weekly events designed to keep you coming back for more. Thursday Night Confidential is all about indie music — a showcase of Toronto’s up-and-coming acts. Weekends welcome Country Saturdays and Bluegrass Sundays, a matinee line-up of local bands in those respective genres. If you’re not the down-home type, the first Friday of each month is home to the World Music Series. In collaboration with the Batuki Music Society, the Melody Bar welcomes a series of concerts that hope to nurture and strengthen cultural diversity through art.
And then, of course, there’s the karaoke. Voted “best karaoke bar” by Now magazine seven years running, it’s the preferred stage for wannabe crooners this side of the Pacific. Running every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to close, poor decisions can now be preserved for posterity by picking up DVD recording of your, ahem, performance.
If you still need an excuse to check out the bar, consider coming down for one of their exclusive special events. Peruse an array of beautiful things at the Contemporary Art Fair or immerse yourself in stunning interior design at Come Up To My Room, a Gladstone hallmark that invites artists and designers to transform ordinary hotel rooms into a living representation of what goes on inside their heads. 11 room installations, 14 public space projects by 44 artists and designers promise to make this an experience like no other.
That is, of course, assuming you can pry yourself away from the karaoke, or the bar.
Image courtesy of Gladstone Hotel.