Remmington's photo: file photo, Zanzibar photo: Jake Scott

Yonge St. strip-off

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Sophie Hamelin strips one local sleaze joint of its reputation:

One day, you and your frosh buds will be over 19, have disposable funds, hypothetically, and want to see hard cocks or slamming tits at 7 p.m. on Saturday with no discriminate taste for either, hypothetically. But where do you go for such depressing hands-off splendor? Remington’s and Zanzibar — two clubs vying to survive downtown by providing lighthearted entertainment. But which is better? Classiest? Who will gouge you for beer? We’ll tell you. This is the Yonge Street strip-club-off.

REMINGTON’S

Straight up, you’re paying 12 dollars to get in and you want the left door. Not the right door.

Enter and behold a long dark room with some tables and a bench on the wall, directly opposite is the mirror-backed stage where T.O.’s men of steel go to work.

The dancers look like Diesel, have tailored their uniforms and every single one is torn, like paying to watch Lou Ferrigno slowly rub his chest. There are two bars and Pilsner tall cans are eight goddamn dollars.

You’ll wish the boys would lace up and get out there, because men’s lingerie sucks and you want to see some cock.

Finally, a dancer will give you a sultry flash through his KC boxers — it’ll be partially hard and, honestly, not that great. Later,
he will try to solicit a lap dance and might grab your bits or kiss your neck to seal a deal, so heads up on that.

The sound system’s decent and your DJ will have done it before, dropping beats to set a mood or defaulting to The Weeknd.

The club’s demographic seems to reach for cis gay men, but if you’re lucky a bachelorette party will hijack your night.

Your evening could be anything, even watching old career moms getting wet to a man named Usher dancing with his pants around his ankles.

There’s no illusions, just fantasies at Remington’s.

ZANZIBAR

Immediately upon entry you’re going to see breasts. Accept that the room is smaller than you thought and grapple with the intensely hostile atmosphere that Zanzibar provides. No cover though, so just pick a seat on the mirror-wall and start blowing your money on $9 cocktails.

Your server will be timely, she will also be cold and you will not blame her. The decor is that of a strip club. The room’s shifting neon lights, black
faux-leather benches and silver streamers look like ‘70s prom held in a ‘50s diner; the mini fridge at the end of the bar is filled with staff lunches.

The club’s demographic is typical, a collection of business bros and loners. Basically, if you look like you should be in a strip club, button-down your checkered dad shirt and grab a seat at the rail.

You’re probably not going to get their A-team early on a Saturday, but dial down those expectations and keep in mind that stripping is faster and more erotic in theory. You will think no one can wipe down a pole sexily and then you’ll be surprised. Inevitably someone will reaffirm your first notion.

Dancers are introduced periodically by the worst DJ in the GTA over a dated PA system, all while refusing to fade or cut or speak into the microphone. After four dancers you’ll be bored, ready to either leave or pay for a lap dance to justify the anxiety you had before walking into this sad palace.

VERDICT

Remington’s. You get what you pay for and you’re paying not to be unwelcome in an establishment that’s taking your money.

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