Looking for a place to plan a private function in Toronto? Consider these hidden gems of the East Side.
In searching for an east-end venue to host our 10-year Carleton University Journalism reunion party, I hit the streets of both Queen and Danforth, only to discover there was more selection that I could have imagined.
For the dear reader, I have taken my discoveries and narrowed it down to five not-to-be-overlooked private rooms, with considerations on size, cost, food options and dance floor potential.
THE COMRADE (758 Queen E., Leslieville)
At the back of this dimly lit bar is a charming room full of comfy couches, perfect for a group of 30 or so. The menu is limited sharing platters, and there is no chance for a dance party size-wise. The price is just right with no room rental cost, making this space a no-brainer for a simple drinks and mingle event.
Contact – Dean & Nikki, 416 838-2624
RASPUTIN VODKA BAR (780 Queen E., Leslieville)
Easily missed amongst its neighbours’ flashier facades, the appearance outside is of a small storefront that sells Stoli Vodka. Once inside, you feel you could be at a swanky King West venue with the exposed brick, big mirrors, and an endless bar. The club ends with an open dance floor room with a private bar, and though it is used for the weekend club crowd Friday & Saturday, it’s available for private use with no room rental during the week. Already equipped with an in-house sound system, this is a great choice for a rowdy night for up to 50 guests.
Contact – Nikolina, 416 469-3737
TABLE 17 (782 Queen E., Leslieville)
Slightly more sophisticated than most options, this classy restaurant boasts a medium sized party room upstairs. Likely this would be your choice if you wanted to run a slide show, presentation, or just have a nice dinner with 20 of your closest friends. Consider this place only if you plan on serving food. You can patch in your own iPod, but beware the space isn’t big enough to spawn a dance party. Manager Gavin will proudly show the venue to you anytime.
Contact – Gavin, 416 519-1851
OVERJOY @ JOY BISTRO (884 Queen E., Leslieville)
This landmark venue in Leslieville is the aptly-named space above the Joy Restaurant. You’ll need to guarantee a bar minimum, so this place is for a deeper pocket type of event. Food options abound, and there is certainly enough space for a DJ & dance floor, we’re speaking from experience! Stephanie and her team are happy to change over the versatile space to suit your plans.
Contact – Stephanie, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHINCHILLA LOUNGE @ LOLITA’S LUST (513 Danforth, Greek Town)
Close to both Chester & Pape stations, Lolita’s Lust is a fixture of the Danforth, but Chinchilla’s Lounge is the little-known step brother kept hidden away upstairs. Equipped with a private bar and sound system for your iPod or DJ, this place screams party time. Food options sound delicious, and the room is sexy enough to be up to standards, but grungy enough to let your inhibitions out. No room rental, and the capacity is the highest of the 5 options if you move the tables out.
Contact – David, 416 465-1751
Reviewed by company director Danny Floh Back.