Just Opened: Dolce Social Ballroom, condoland’s new dance club, goes after 30-somethings
Yet another dance club at King and Bathurst awaits downtown condo dwellers who made it to this side of the recession with some cash in their pockets. Dolce Social Ballroom, which opened this past weekend, is the latest venture from Travis Agresti—the man who, at 22 years old, linked up with Vince Carter to open Kai and Inside Entertainment Complex (all three are now history). Agresti is back, having spent 16 months and $2 million merging an Indian restaurant with a derelict lounge to create Dolce, a venue aimed squarely at mature partiers (dubbed “sophisticats” in press materials). “It seems there is a lack of nightclubs for the 30-something crowd to let loose in. You’ve got kiddie-land on Richmond and pockets here and there on Ossington, but that’s about it,” says Agresti, himself 28 years old. “We’re trying to discourage the younger crowd who spray champagne and go wild.”
To achieve this, Dolce is trying to exude an upmarket attitude. At a recent preview, guests were greeted with (not sprayed by) sparkling wine and a bevy of long-limbed hostesses in skin-tight uniforms designed by Toronto’s Joeffer Caoc. The decor strives for moneyed glitz and was handled by Charles Doell of the California firm Mister Important: sheets of crumpled gold metal line the columns and the ceiling, giving the illusion of rippling water. Psychedelic atom-shaped lamps hang over booths, and unisex bathroom stalls feature clear doors that turn opaque when locked (we’re told they cost $8,000 each).
It’s an ambitious venture for Agresti, and we’re not sure if Torontonians—be they sophisticats or not—are in need of more $20 covers and $200 bottles, particularly in a part of town increasingly saturated with similar options (Cheval, Cobra, The Roosevelt Room). Then again, the ever-changing whims of club-goers could tip in Agresti’s favour. With money starting to trickle back onto Bay Street, its denizens will need somewhere to spend it.
Dolce Social Ballroom, 647 King St. W. (at Bathurst), 416-361-9111, dolcesocial.com.