chris atchison/metro toronto


Shallow Groove is tricked out with cosy booths, a sunken dance floor and a large bar.

Shallow Groove

599 College St.


Ambience: Imagine a rich person taking their basement and tricking it out with a sunken dance floor, a large bar and some cosy booths for his/her equally rich/freeloading friends —not to mention a private VIP room — and you get an idea of Shallow Groove’s subterranean vibe.

Maybe it’s the wood paneling or the comfortable familiarity of the clientele, many of whom seem to have spoken to (or groped) each other on past visits, but this is the type of place where it seems one could easily spend weekends drinking (heavily). Or maybe it’s just the fact the ugly lights on the dance floor are almost totally dimmed, making that lowered arena of bliss an ideal place to score. Whatever the reason, and in spite of the pricey drinks and $10 cover charge, they keep coming back for more.

Crowd: Expect most patrons to be in their early to mid-20s — in other words, a much younger crowd than you’d find at many venues on College Street. You won’t be partying with trendsetters or Toronto’s nightlife A-list, but this crowd is out for a good time at the very least.

Dress code: Very casual, but avoid sports gear, ripped jeans and basically anything you’d wear around the house on a hungover Sunday morning.

Should I dance on the bar? Feel free, but expect to be kicked off if you’re not an attractive female.

Will I get lucky? Did I mention the VERY dark, sunken dance floor?

Least realistic expectation: Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with. Finding someone to spend the rest of the night with, now that’s a different story.

Cocktail du jour: Beer, coolers and mixed drinks are the beverages of choice. Some will opt for wine to look sophisticated, but don’t expect fine vintages.

Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.