Last Friday marked the opening of the newest addition to INK Entertainment’s roster of highly popular nightclubs in Toronto. UNIUN (pronounced yoon-yuhn, not un-yuhn) has taken the place of Devil’s Martini, situated right in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district at Portland and Adelaide. If you’re looking for what used to be the bachelorette-party/905-er feel of Devil’s Martini, you might want to look somewhere else.
The venue has been completely made over to reflect the 1920s character of the original building, the Lovable Pantyhose Factory. Charles Khabouth (owner of INK) and his designer, Kenny Barid, have done an impeccable job of redesigning the space to give it a “post-industrial chic” feel. The 16,000 square foot venue showcases 14-ft bronze metal arches, aged wood, grey cement wall finishes and retro chandeliers. Combined with a unique LED light installation, which consists of thin icicle-like tubes dripping from the ceiling, the décor and design definitely provide the “sensory experience unlike anything else ever seen before in Toronto,” that Khabouth had hoped for.
With a capacity of 1,500, INK is planning to make a bigger impact in the EDM scene with the introduction of Factory Fridays – DJ-driven events for the 19+ crowd. With a November line-up starting with R3hab this Friday, followed by Sidney Samson on November 16, Fedde Le Grand on November 23, and AN21 & Max Vangeli on November 30, we are guaranteed a good party every weekend for the rest of the month. UNIUN will also be open on Saturday nights, but these will be 21+ nights with more “eclectic” music. There will be no dress code on either night. Given the chic and modern set up with spacious bottle service tables situated away from the massive dancing space, I can see a mix of styles invading this club. Sneaker-clad partiers can raid the dance floor while the stilettos can sip on drinks on their comfy couches. An interesting dynamic, that’s for sure, and it’s exactly what we saw last Friday.
On the soft launch of Factory Fridays, resident DJs Manzone & Strong opened the night with welcoming house beats as Toronto partiers got familiar with this massive new territory – coat check and restrooms downstairs, drinks and partying upstairs. Speaking of which, mixed drinks average $8 and some change, in case you were wondering. When I arrived around 11:30pm, the dance floor was filling up, the tables were occupied and the bartenders were busy serving hundreds of people. I immediately noticed the unique lighting, which became a conversation piece for a good portion of the night, along with the two huge screens on either side of the dance floor. We socialized and mingled for a good hour before finding a spot on what became a busy dance floor to catch that last half hour of Manzone & Strong’s set.
Around 1am, the smooth transition to Chus and Ceballos occurred and before we knew it, the sounds of Iberican house music filled the room. The Iberican sound refers to house music with a rhythmic, percussive nature rooting back, geographically, to the Iberian Peninsula (between Portugal and Spain). It is best described as a fusion of tribal house with a traditional Spanish sound – I definitely felt the tribal piece on Friday. By 2am, I noticed the tables and couches were emptying out, leaving the hardcore house heads to finish the night with Chus and Ceballos. I personally made an exit round 2:30am, but heard the party went on until 4am with Chus & Ceballos tearing up the place.
One thing I will warn you about is the temperature control in the club. I am not sure if it was because it was opening night and they plan to adjust it, or if it will always be this way, but the dance floor was HOT! At some points I didn’t want to stop dancing but was forced to because sweat was dripping and I couldn’t handle the heat. You only had to walk a few steps to the front bar area in order to feel cooler, but it took away from the overall experience. I hope the management at UNIUN will have the temperature under better control for the official launch party with R3hab on Friday. I know it will be a packed house and I’d hate to hear criticisms of what will be a fabulous venue and experience for all.
EDM TOR will definitely be covering the official launch and we hope to see you all there.
Until next time…
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR
Photos provided by Anjali Handa