Thursday, December 14, 2006

Karaoke Review:One Eleven Yorkville with Peter Rockwell of Pete Rock Radio Karaoke


After reading my first review of Peter's Performance at the Fox and Fiddle he invited me to check out his new venue at Yorkville. Having already given him an exceptional review I had no worries about Peter's performance as a karaoke host. So the only thing to really take into consideration is the venue itself.

The Good:
The venue is different from any I have been to because it wasn't typical pub but a Russian Restaurant/Bar. I was greeted by a very friendly waitress at the door. I'll say this for them, the staff appeared to know how to make you feel welcome. The furniture didn't hurt either: Soft Couches, soft padded chairs and small tables and low but visible lighting made One Eleven a very easy place to relax before facing a new work week. The menu had a nice selection of Russian dishes and desserts. Its a very intimate place. Although the place is smaller than a typical pub for Sunday nights this is actually ideal as you don't generally get a large crowd on that day. The stage set Pete arranges near the piano fits in well and creates an effective stage area. Peter gives his usual comic additions between and during songs with his usual knack for timing and witty charm. The wait times are better than average, which is what one would expect given the limited capacity of the restaurant

The Mixed:
The only thing I would call mixed here is the food pricing and possibly the space. Again, for Sunday a smaller place is ideal in my experience as you don't get the empty feeling I'm all too familiar with when I check out a place on Sunday evening. The food pricing is on the high side but the selection and preparation is par to fine dining so although the food prices are a bit expensive, its quality Russian food which is rather exotic, at least for me.

The Bad.
I could find nothing that was bad here at all. (Isn't it nice when this section is short and sweet?)

Conclusion: This is a quality venue with one of Toronto's better MC's. There are few enjoyable places you can do to with a quality MC on Sunday. This is definitely one of them. Well worth checking out if you can sleep in on Monday morning. ;-) If your budget is limited you may not want to come for dinner but the desserts and drinks are within reason.

Final Grade: B+

Summary Scores:

Facilities: 8.8 (Excellent atmosphere, great furniture, seating space may be a little limited unless you share a table or couch.)
Equipment: 9.4 (The video setup isn't as good as the Fox and Fiddle but its still very well done with the sounds and the lyric monitors work well)
Food Selection: 8.2 (Its a fair selection of Russian Meals and a great selection of desserts)
Prices: 7.0 (The prices are bit high. This is no place to go for a cheap meal but the food is excellent)
Location: 8.7 (Yorkville is an easy place to access through Bay Subway station. Plenty of paid parking in the area but free parking is not available anywhere nearby)
Song Selection: 7.5 (added points for good selection in modern songs which is rare for MCs with selection in the 6k range)
Wait Time: 8.5 (Well above average, some improvement in change times from when I last saw Peter in action)
Host: 8.8. Good taste and timing for jokes and sound effects as well. As I indicated in my last review of Rockwell, you won't be disappointed.
Service: 8.7 (Fairly fast and exceptionally friendly service here. Yes, the Russians know how to make you feel at home)

Venue Information:

Peter Rockwell, Pete Rock Radio Karaoke
One Eleven, 111 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 850-9471
Sundays 10 PM - 2 AM
Pete Rock Radio Karaoke
Site: and

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