Pauper’s Pub

539 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1Y5

539 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1Y5
Daily 11 am to 2 am. Licensed. Access: three flights of stairs to patio, washrooms on all floors.
Bar, Restaurant
Pub Grub
Dinner, Lunch, No Reservations, Open Late/24 Hours, Outdoor Seating


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Avoid this open mic

A word of advice: if you're a musician interested in the Thursday open mic here, do yourself a favour and avoid it.

The guy who hosts the open mic, by the name of Mike Barnes, will jerk you around and treat you like your time is worthless.

Our band came out and played a couple songs (they used to allow three songs, but you know, Mike apparently needs literally half of the four-hour open mic to play tired classic rock covers himself), and everyone really liked us. Mike directly asked us to stick around and play another song later in the night, and told us that he wanted to come talk to us later about a full gig at Paupers.

So we decide to stay, even though our drummer has to work at 6am the next morning. She's easily the most talented musician in the place, and decides to sign up to perform some of her solo material since we'll be there for the long haul. We sit and wait as Mike never calls her name. When she goes up to ask him about it, he derisively says "Sorry 'hon,' you weren't there when I called you." This is a bald-faced lie, and he knows it. And more to the point, what kind of neanderthal sleazebag calls women he doesn't even know "hon" in 2016? She's not a child, Mike, don't treat her like one.

Fast forward to 2am. Everyone has cleared out, Mike has still not come to speak with us after specifically asking us to stay. So we go and talk to him and he very evasively brushes us off and says he can't talk about future gigs until we show up for a bunch more open mics.

So he lied to our faces to get us to stick around for three hours and buy overpriced booze at the bar, jerked us around like our time was worthless just because we're musicians, and utterly disrespected our drummer. Real professional you've got there, Paupers.

There are so many great open mics in Toronto, with hosts who care about musicians and treat them with respect. Paupers is not one of those places. Barely anyone who shows up plays original music, and those who do are treated like dirt by this power-tripping jerk.

Simply put, this was a terrible experience all around, and if you value your time as a musician and care about music, avoid this open mic like the plague.

Matt more than 3 years ago