Toronto – The last time I was the Gladstone hotel, I was watching a friend on stage at Karaoke night. As a long-time member of a boy’s and then a men’s choir, he really could sing. This was evident a few bars in, when the Karaoke host cast him an approving nod. He then proceeded to sing into my eyes and point at me emphatically, maybe even a little seductively. I was quietly sitting in the middle of the room when all of a sudden I was thrust into the spotlight. The entire bar was gazing at me inquisitively during this rousing rendition of You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.
Fast forward a few years and I’m back at the Gladstone Hotel, this time to celebrate the grand opening of the Melody Bar. The most apparent thing about the renovation is how upscale the place looks. It’s an eclectic mix of old-world class and new-world Toronto Life chic. The place is certainly more urban lounge than pub now. With local artistic influence everywhere, I can’t help but draw similarities between it and the Drake. Still, with the exception of the slightly crowded bar design, it’s a pretty sweet place to get your Queen West groove on.
Thankfully, Karaoke is still on the menu.