It's great to have an officially Q welcoming space back on Gottingen Street!
On Friday, October 21st, Indulge Nightclub welcomed folks to "Grand Opening Night 1" -- tomorrow is "Grand Opening Night 2."
Located upstairs at 2182 Gottingen, the space is what most Q folk in Halifax would call "The Old Menz Bar."
A friend who keeps track of Gottingen Street goings-on said that the bar is owned by the same people as Reflections, who have hired a gay man as manager; I wasn't able to contact them to confirm that.
If you were there during The Den days, the layout hasn't changed at all, nor has the decor changed much. If you were last there in Menz time, lots has changed - the big space off to your left at the top of the stairs is closed, and the dividing wall of the somewhat claustrophobic room right on Gottingen street is gone. The decor and lighting's been replaced, and the air handling system has been mostly removed and replaced with heat pumps. The long staircase up from Gottingen is still there, with no alternative for people who don't do stairs.
After the opening drag show, the stripper pole in the middle of the dance floor had a sign taped to it, "For Performers Only."
At the back of the space there are four booths, each seating about six, which for $150 includes a bottle of... something, a friend said. A bunch of bears had booked one and were having fun. So seating is literally at a premium and there are no other tables. Promo material said that the booth also gets you table service.
Having a hole in the plaster by the front door on opening night wasn't great form. The waitstaff were struggling with the point of sale terminals which was a combination, I think of the terminals not being set up properly, and lack of training. The bar couldn't make a Bloody Caesar and didn't have wine, but I was offered a whole bottle of champagne. The bouncers and door staff were beautiful people doing a great balance between being professional and fun - we got carded with a laugh and a smile even though we were old enough to be the bouncer's grandfathers.
Probably the biggest fault of the space itself is that there's there's no delineation between the dance floor and the stand-around space, so people just stand around on the dance floor. Also - "I'd really like to have a urinal to stand and piss at," said a friend. The washrooms are unisex, toilets only.
The DJ (DJ Hedfones I think) was great. The soundsystem is good and not overwhelming; the light show is modest.
But, all that being said, people were having fun, people were dancing and saying hi to old friends they hadn't seen in a long time. As for demographics, most people were in their 20s.
Women outnumbered men on the floor by about four to one: "Lots of lesbians here," said a friend, "Wow there are lots of lesbians in Halifax!"
Is it a gay bar? How gay is it? Not exclusively, but that's not a surprise. Is it a pretty good place to dance on Gottingen? Yes it is.
Cover was $10; our Smirnoff Ices were $8.25.