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Some Notes on Montreal Last Week

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Some notes based on a brief ( :( ), all too brief visit to Montreal last week after an absence of about three and a half months, and based on stopping in at each of the Village bars a few different times:


Taboo: closed, of course, and all the posters, signs, etc. were down, except for the large vertical sign at the corner. But the lights were on inside and the inner door was open so I could get a good peek through the glass front door. Nobody inside. A fair amount of work was done, but it was basically cosmetic to spruce the place up. Looked nice. There didn't seem to be any major reorganization of the bar/stage room, at least in the part that was visible through the door. The work seemed almost completed, but not entirely. The tables and chairs were not there; I don't know if the old ones are coming back or if there will be new ones. Couldn't see all parts of the bar/stage room, and couldn't see into the back room at all (the lights were not on in there, just in the front). But clearly the owners expect to reopen, or they wouldn't have put all that money into it.


L'Adonis: Stopped in a couple of times and didn't stay more than a few minutes each time. I had really been hoping that things would have picked up at L'Adonis with the advent of some of the Taboo dancers, and there were some encouraging remarks here from others on earlier visits, but I didn't see much of anything when I was there, which is why I didn't last more than a few minutes each time. *Very* few dancers (none of which was particularly enticing to me), very few customers, and long dancerless interludes. Granted, they were weekday nights, but the place was dead. There have been some small cosmetic changes, though: the name in big lighted letters on the mirror at the back of the stage (I don't remember that being there before), and some obvious work in the private dance area. The latter has been much improved, though it is still not exactly what one would like to see. The frosted glass panels have been removed and the partitions (solid black) have been extended to within an inch or so of the ceiling, so that now you cannot see anything from outside the area, not even heads or the tops of heads as was possible before. There are side partitions making little booths, but the side partitions come out only as far as the seating bench, so they shield the patron but not necessarily the dancer. You can still see the patron across from you, but not the ones on the sides. And L'Adonis already had their winter decorations (mostly large snowflakes) with a small hint of Christmas (Santa hats) up -- the first to do so.


Campus: There have been a few physical changes here, too, more than at L'Adonis. The raised platform at the back has been extended out some towards the stage and a pool table was installed on the extended platform. A shiny spiral staircase has been built adjacent to where the DJ booth was, and the dancers now use that to go up to and down from the locker room, instead of the wooden staircase behind the juke box. The DJ booth has been moved back against the partition closing off the privates area, and may even be occupying part of the space (a booth or two) that was part of the privates area before (it was hard to tell without a close examination). Also the area in the back on the right side where the elevator comes out and where the literature used to be has been redone with a large kitchen sink and presumably will be an adjunct to the second bar. The privates areas, of course, have been worked on as well, as has been reported in earlier threads, and are more private now than they were before. The one in the back seems to be very private indeed. But there were no curtains or doors. A good number of dancers and also of customers for the times of day and days when I was there. Not the packed crowds of summer weekend evenings, but respectable for weekday afternoons and evenings in November. Afternoon dancers and evening dancers pretty much true to type.


Le Stock: I didn't see any physical changes at Stock, but then again the current premises are only a year and a half old. Afternoon Stock is still not well attended at all. I popped in and out a few times. Some of the times there were no customers at all, some of the times anywhere from 1-4. But the dancers were out there, customers or no. More customers in the evening, varying from about 5-15. Every time I looked in, there were always more customers at Campus than at Stock, regardless of the time of day.


Blu: I stopped in several times, hoping that things would have caught on here. They hadn't, at least from my observation. And I stayed here for even a shorter time each time than at L'Adonis. I made a special point of stopping in both on the way to and on the way from Adonis, instead of just making a circuit of the bars, hoping to catch some slight glimpse of life, but there was none. Most of the times when I looked in there were no customers at all; a few times there were 1 or 2. I don't think I ever saw more than 2 at any one time. And they were always up at the bar, with their backs to the stage. Only once (out of 7-8 times) was there actually a dancer on stage when I came in. Once a dancer saw me standing at the door and came by and said Hello. I don't really know if they had any dancers there or not most of the time; they certainly weren't in evidence. The privates area at Blu is the least private of all the bars, especially now that Taboo is closed and/or remodeled. There are 2 rows of seating facing each other, with no side partitions or privacy of any kind, and the room is more brightly lighted than the old Taboo back room was. It seemed to be even more open and less private than the old Taboo. On a different note, Blu may have gotten some undeserved bad press here over prices. I recall a remark in some thread about the drinks being very expensive, but I did not find that. I didn't actually stay long enough to have a drink, but their price list is posted outside, and the prices seemed to be about like those at Stock. Taboo was always the least expensive of the bars, at least by a little, with Campus in the middle and Stock a little above that. So Blu is at the upper end with Stock, but not out of the range of the others. Also Blu is apparently trying to increase its patronage by appealing to a broader audience: they have some "mixed" nights with both male and female dancers. They also have certain nights on which women "are admitted," rather than all-out Ladies' nights, which an employee explained to me was to try subtly to minimize the change in atmosphere that having women would cause: rather than declaring a Ladies' night, it's still a Men's night, but with some women present.


Other: I saw some Taboo faces at various of the bars. One ex-Taboo dancer told me he was going to stay at Campus, even after Taboo reopens. Another told me that he was going to stay at Stock, "even though the money was better at Taboo." When I asked him why he would do that, he said it was because he needed a change. And when I asked him why the money was better at Taboo ($6/dance) than at Stock ($10/dance), he said it was because "people come to Stock to watch the show, but they don't take the dancers in the back, but at Taboo they did."


When I asked about the court cases, none of the ones I had a chance to speak to (all of whom had been arrested) seemed worried. None had any information about the club case, and they all professd to know only about their own. One said that his lawyer had gotten him off completely and that his case was closed, and another said that his lawyer was handling it without him having to appear again in court, that there would probably be a fine of some kind, but nothing serious and no police record.


That's what I found.

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Guest Tampa Yankee



Thanks for the detailed update. Many of us are always interested in the latest happenings in Montreal. Regarding Blu's drink prices, they were astronomical during Black and Blue week amost twice other clubs. Then at Halloween they had become very reasonable -- cheaper than everwhere else it seemed. They were really hurting for business which seems to be the status quo. Sometimes I think it would be merciful if they were put out of their misery but then I dont want to seen a gay stripclub venue lose its zoning authority.

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