577 King West, 416-836-4619 Rating: NNNNN
VIBE A new live music venue focusing on rock, with some funk nights coming soon. It's a small basement bar, with good sightlines and kind of an early-90s look. The large blackboard along one wall may help hold off the inevitable bad graffiti that rock bars always seem to inspire.
PAST LIVES This spot was most famous as gritty techno club Area 51, but was most recently known as Volume Lounge. The look now is closer to Area 51's dark, stark aesthetic than to Volume's bright, airy minimalism.
VALUE When there is a cover charge it's generally quite low, and the blackboard lists some pretty decent specials for a Saturday night at a downtown club: $4 for a shot of Jager or a bottle of Bohemian beer during our visit.
BATHROOMS Surprisingly clean and completely functional. What kind of rock club is this?