Toronto

Are nightclubs 'passe'? The owner of Muzik thinks so as dance spot rebrands as supper club

Muzik nightclub, where two people were shot dead at an after-party for Drake's OVO Fest, is turning into a once-a-week venue for dining and mingling

The Grand Bizarre Supper Club won't have dance floor, thumping music

Owner Zlatko Starkovsky in the revamped Grand Bizarre Supper Club. (Lisa Xing)

The space is grand, with high ceilings and rows of white couches, but there's no more thumping music being played at the former Muzik nightclub, nor will there be a dance floor in the historic building at Exhibition Place. 

Instead, it is revamped and reopening to the public as the Grand Bizarre Supper Club. 

"People are more into dining now, " said owner Zlatko Starkovski. "They want to enjoy their time." 

There is no dance floor at the Grand Bizarre Supper Club. (Lisa Xing)

Starkovski says the pivot has nothing to do with the high-profile violence in the space, including a double fatal shooting at an afterparty for Drake's OVO Fest in 2015. 

Muzik was open for more than a decade, often hosting celebrities like NBA players, Drake and Jude Law. 

Starkovski attributes the change to customer preference, citing the dozens of clubs in Toronto that have closed in recent years.

"It's becoming passé now," he said. "People have grown out of nightclubs. We want to be able to talk, to have conversations."

The Grand Bizarre will open once a week on Saturdays and the concept is something Starkovski calls social dining, where you're mingling with others while trying different foods at various "chef stations." 

Owners encourage people to mingle as they eat. (Lisa Xing)

There will be live music and entertainment, but at a third of the volume of a club, Starkovski promises. 

This is a relief to Coun. Mike Layton, who sits on the board of Exhibition Place, citing safety concerns from the community.

"I'm happy they're looking at different models," he said. 

Exhibition Place CEO Dianne Young agrees with the focus on eating.

"I think it's good to have food when you're drinking. It was a good effort at rebranding." 

Starkovski's lease is up in 2024. Layton says he's hoping the space can eventually be returned to the public realm, citing Evergreen Brickworks and Wychwood Barns as examples. 

"I think the city has matured and doesn't look at these buildings as a burden anymore, but as an opportunity."

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