If you're a fan of master thespian and 80s hunky dude (swoon!) Patrick Swayze, you may not want to hold your breath in hopes of a lasting monument to him here in Toronto. Although cheeseball movie enthusiasts may think Jeff Healey named his new club/live music venue Healey's Roadhouse as a tribute to Swayze's film, the local blues icon, who also had a role in the film, insists it's no homage.
"The financiers of the place would have had the movie in mind, but a roadhouse doesn't necessarily even have music."
After prodding, Healey admits he had relatively little to do with the project and that his creative input was minimal, but he is definitely looking forward to a change of neighbourhoods.
"I never intended Healey's being there as long as we were. Who really wants to go down to Queen and Bathurst unless you really have to any more?"
So a move to the more tourist-friendly 56 Blue Jays Way, surrounded by the likes of Gretzky's Restaurant and the Second City comedy club, is certainly part of the draw. Healey says his old club was an awkward mid-sized venue, "too big for intimate artists and too small for big-ticket artists."
The new club is vying for a few more big-ticket draws - the April Wines of the biz, if you will - and Healey himself will continue on with his weekly jazz matinees. The former Healey's sign has been removed and the old place looks empty and deserted inside. Healey hopes to offer a variety of acts for music fans at the new club, be they local or any other fraidy-cat too intimidated to venture down to Queen West.