sound emporium (401 richmond west (alleyway), 416-408-2646
VIBE Something in between mainstream and underground. The two big rooms need a lot of people to fill them, so marketing it just to the heads isn't an option. On the other hand, the organizers don't want to be competing with the top-40 clubs, so expect big-name DJs playing progressive house, mixed up with other sounds for variety. So far, a fairly mixed crowd but not a lot of energy.
SECURITY One of the most detailed searches I've ever been subjected to. Rolling papers were confiscated, and cameras are a no-no unless you're media. Don't think you'll be able to talk your way out of paying cover. Still, the security presence inside isn't too visible or oppressive, which is a nice change for a big club.
VALUE Nothing here is cheap, so be prepared. Coming early will save you some money off the cover charge, but you'll quickly spend it on pricey drinks and coat check.
FEATURES The address is confusing, but the Sound Emporium is actually the club formerly known as Turbo. To emphasize the more underground direction they want to take it in, you have to enter through the back alley entrance, through the basement. The basement is full of little corners to sit in and big beds to chill on, and the upstairs is more of a big open room with a small VIP lounge. Don't worry if they won't let you into the lounge -- it's nothing special, although you do get to look at the DJ's ass.
GIMMICKS A surprise big-name guest is promised for every Saturday alongside whichever big-name progressive house DJ is being promoted.