Thursday, May 05, 2005

Toronto Karaoke Review: Hollywood on the Queensway


Hollywood on the Queensways is a bar (apparently it was once operated by two independent owners) with a large amount of room which makes it perfect for MANY occasions. In the case of Wednesdays nights from 8 PM to 12 AM, its hosts Karaoke Nights provided by PH Entertainment Services. If you are a karaoke lover and have Wednesday nights free its a place you can go to sing your heart out. Now, to details.

The Pros: Again, this place has LOTS of space. Equipment is first rate. You have a stage large enough to have singing groups as large as 10 people (if you were so inclined). Music/Voice balance is not a concern even if you have a weak voice: the hostess is very attentive on this point. The food and drink is selection is fairly good making it easy to relax when you need a break from sounding your wind pipes. Wait times between songs is quite short. Between 10-20 minutes making it fairly easy to get a good 4-5 songs in before the evening passes.

The Cons: One of the biggest shortcomings of PH Entertainment Services seems to be the selection. There are barely 1500 songs on the list and most of them are fairly old. Large selection of Elvis, the Beetles, Britney Spears and Madonna, but short on almost everything else. The indexing of song books is poor as well: 25% of the songs are newly added and are in order of CD. (which doesn't help much). The rest are exclusively in order of the artist. (Many people prefer alphabetical lists). Its a shame because the equipment and facilities are so good.

The Mixed: The location is a little inconvenient as well: If you have a car, parking is easy because its in Etobicoke. But if use public transit, its a subway and then two buses, which may discourage some people. If you don't have a car and live downtown I suggest taking your bike on the subway and riding south on Islington. Saves waiting around for 2 buses. Food prices aren't great. Pop and various platters are a touch on the high side in comparison to other places, but it won't break the bank. There is no cover charge, which helps a bit.

The Verdict: Hollywood On The Queensways have a fair amount going for it: Excellent Space, facilities, hostess, and equipment. This counts for a lot. Unfortunately the available song selection is rather poor, which also counts for a lot. If you must have top quality stage and equipment to feel comfortable or like singing in large groups, this place is a must. On the other hand, if selection is important to you, this venue will leave you a little disappointed. With some serious work on song selecton, this would be an EXCELLENT place to "get down".

Summary scores (On a scale of 1 being lowest, 10 being highest):
Facilities: 10
Equipment: 8 (mikes not always well balaned but overall good)
Location: 7
Song selection: 5
Wait Time: (Scaled for Public Venue): 9
Host: (Public Karaoke Ony): 7.5
Food Prices: 7
Food Selection: 8
Food Quality: 7

Final Grade: C+ (Not a waste of time, but not the thrill of your life either, song selection counts for a lot to a karaoke enthusiast)

Venue Information:
Wednesdays, 9 PM - 12 AM
Hollywood on the Queensway
1184 The Queensway
Etobicoke, Ontario M8Z 1R6
(416) 251-0288


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