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Century Room
By: Josh Steven
Date: 2006-05-16 22:00:02
 
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Here’s an actual conversation regarding the name Century Room:

"Century Room, that’s a cool name. I wonder how they got that name".
"The building is over 100 years old. That’s how they got the name".
"Really?"
"Yep".

When you walk into Century Room on any given night one immediately becomes immersed in the history that is in the room. No, it is not the history of the preceding Mockingbird; rather it is the history of the clientele now frequenting Century Room.

Now slightly older, wiser, and wealthier, the patrons of Century have grown out of the younger Richmond Street West scene and migrated to the suddenly cool King Street West scene. The reason for this is clearly derived from the ownership of the venue; all of the owners are pretty big cogs in the Toronto nightlife scene.

Zark Fatah and Ralf Madi alongside Tarus Fatah (Zark’s brother) and Vito Tomasicchio (owner of the cool College Street resto-lounge Li’ly) opened Century Room in 2004. All four owners have an extensive track record when it comes to the service, management, creative, and promotional side of nightlife and have used these qualities to successfully brand Century as one of the top destinations in the city.

The circle of the nightlife promotions industry seems to go something like this: promoters begin successfully promoting, they get older and do more mature parties, they buy their own venue, and finally they use the venue as a way to push the next hot promoter and the cycle begins all over again.

The founders of ZRF Productions, Madi and Fatah began promoting together in the spring of 1999 and promoted at such downtown spots as Hotel, Fluid, The Drink+ Charlies + Goldclub Lounge @ The Guvernment, Budo, etc catering to a crowd that was fashion forward and loyal. As the heads of ZRF grew older, they had the ambitious desire to own their own venue (to cater to their also aging friends) while keeping ZRF for the younger, trendier demographic. Partnering with a successful resto-lounge owner allowed them to reach a greatly desired, affluent clientele, the type that you see at Century at any weekly event.

Decor and layout

Although the building is 100 years old, you wouldn’t realize that by looking at the club. The space has an impressive hardwood floor, aged naturally. This type of floor is perfect for dancing, and there is space to dance, particularly in the back lounge. With spacious ceilings, Century does not feel like most enclosed Richmond Street West clubs; rather you feel an aura of openness.
The design of the club was done by Harold Madi (Ralf Madi’s brother) and Antonio from Prototype Design Lab (a close friend of Zark’s). Lighting is critical to the success of a venue, and Century’s lighting is well done to enhance the mood of the spot. The backlighting at the club provides just enough light to see the face of the girl you are schmoozing, but enough darkness to make sure you won’t see any imperfections (those are best saved for the morning after-yikes!)
The front and back lounges are pimped out with designer couches for the bottle service/VIP area. This club was tailor made for bottle service, as the booths are unobtrusive (unlike some places) but intimate enough to have a good conversation or keep an eye of what is happening on the dancefloor.
Century also has a pretty happening courtyard/patio equipped with a bar for your drinking/smoking needs.
The building is over 100 years old. That’s how they got the name.


Staff/Crowd

The staff at Century is much like the venue itself; cool, chic, and comfortable. The door staff can be viewed as assertive and to some people rude, but you have to cut the bouncers some slack. They handle the volume at the door very efficiently considering most clubbers are impatient at times.
The bartenders are very experienced, having plied their trade at various hot spots throughout the years. Handpicked by the owners, these bartenders are efficient and fast, considering they have to deal with customers with lots of money, and even less patience.

The crowd is very old school ZRF. These are the clubbers that, 5 years ago, were the trendy stylish people that were partying at the Drink or Fluid. Now these people have traded in the funky clothes and the cool hairstyles for business attire and martinis. That isn’t to say they have stopped their partying ways, rather this clientele has toned down a bit and party strictly on the weekends. Tuesday’s crowd is an industry crowd filled with bartenders, promoters, bouncers, and DJ’s from all over the city. Friday is a house music driven night, with international talent playing once a month. Saturday is mature and more commercial, with many high rollers and most VIP booths sold out well in advanced.

Tips
- Don’t name drop at the door. Most of the crowd knows at least one of the owners of the club, so by dropping names you are doing exactly what the person waiting in front of you did. Just arrive early
- Reserve your VIP booths in advance. The booths (especially on Saturdays) are in high demand and are usually sold out well in advanced.
- Dress the part. The majority of the patrons are very sharply dressed. You should do the same.
- Call for guestlist early in the week. It fills up fast.

General information

Century Room is open weekly Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
580 King Street West
www.centuryroom.com
416-203-2226
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
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