Oh the lengths we'll go for a night on the town. After leaving suburbia, and making a few stops, we arrived at the birthday girl's apartment. She and her beau hosted a lovely pre-party (complete with appetizers, wine and french music) before the main event at Goodnight. "Don't forget to give them your name at the door," we were told. Goodnight is a bar in downtown Toronto with a strict reservation policy. So strict in fact, that if you haven't made a reservation, don't expect to get in. Just past the clubland crowds lies the alley that leads to this hidden hot spot. We dash across the street toward what looks like a dead end, only to find a few smokers outside of a large grey door. A tiny sign is the only indication that this is the right place. My sister rings the doorbell and a woman with blunt bangs and glasses answers. LC gives her our reservation, "It's under Marie-France" (the birthday girl is French and decided to make reservations under the names of French presidents' wives or mistresses). I thought we obeyed all of the rules of this hidden haunt, but we are told that next time we should arrive with our entire party. Regardless, the woman glances at her clipboard and lets us in.
Inside, is a sparsely decorated room complete with barely-there lighting and a large bar. I already can't help but feel like we snuck into some secret hideaway, and the decor certainly adds to that effect. It looks as if the place was just found this way, and someone decided to serve alcohol. I can't help but think of the prohibition when I see that the bartender is wearing suspenders and sporting a combover. The cocktails are listed without descriptions, so we had a few questions for the man behind the bar. Friends drank Old Fashioneds and Gimlets, while the Dark and Stormy and the Tea at Goodnight remain mysteries. The music was from a mix of genres throughout the night, but it was the old school hip hop that pleased the tiny crowd.
Later we sat around chatting about our fantasy itineraries for this summer's European adventures. Who would love to go? Where are they dreaming of going? My mind spun with the possibilities of vacation destinations. Before any actual planning takes place, there are the visions of strolling through new cities and dreamy conversations about what you'll do first. As much as I adore recapping fun nights or memorable trips with friends, it's those moments beforehand that are my absolute favourite. None of it's real, and none of it has to be.
Don't expect too many chance encounters at Goodnight, or to call up some friends to join the party. You do have to reserve your place there after all. Plus, you shouldn't expect to show those who missed out pictures from your night at the bar. When my sister tried to snap a shot of friends, she was quickly told that cameras are not allowed.