WHITE ORCHID 812 Dundas West, 416-214-5890 Rating: NNNNN
VIBE Formerly a karaoke bar, this spot has been turned by the new owners into a live venue for punk and indie bands, and a hip little club for left-of-centre DJ parties. There's still some of that surreal karaoke atmosphere, but that's part of the charm. The crowd tends to be young and artsy but varies depending on the event.
VALUE When there is a cover charge, it's generally insignificant. Drinks are cheap; $5.50 for a premium imported beer, and $5 for a mixed drink on a Saturday night is a bargain these days.
CAN YOU DANCE? There is space for dancing toward the back of the room, and it does get used if it's that kind of night.
SOUND AND LIGHTS For a small bar, the stacks of speakers are pretty big, but they're also pretty nasty and distorted-sounding. There's a small mixing board for live bands, and a bare-bones DJ set-up. The black lights seem to be left over from White Orchid's karaoke past, and you're not going to be blinded by any fancy lasers.