- Night Out
May 11, 2018
No prizes for guessing what this club used to be. And in the process of transforming from legal building to nightspot the venue has also played host to The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, which brought together artistes of all descriptions, from writers to musicians to painters, including Canada’s famous Group of Seven. While the atmosphere today may be slightly more debauched than of old (or maybe not you know what those artists are like), it still retains much of the dignity and glamour of its former lives albeit with a few go-go dancers working the stripper pole thrown in. The high-ceilinged elegant room above the Courthouse Market Grille has a 1940s Hollywood feel, with its glossy wooden floors and numerous oversized fireplaces, and the upscale crowd tends to dress accordingly, with a scattering of ties amongst the men and heels and dresses for the ladies. The lounge bar which overlooks the throb of dancing bodies is a good place to grab a cocktail and chill out, and clusters of cosy sofas and dimly lit corners invite intimate huddles. The huge space also incorporates a large dance floor, stage and DJ booth. Saturday night is when Courthouse flings open its doors to the public, when the club hosts what has become known as one of the hottest dance parties in the city. There’s also a cigar bar in the basement, down amongst what’s left of the building’s jail cells. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you dine in the restaurant first you can dodge the cover charge (and the queues).