Windsor’s new groove
Windsor residents are still mourning the loss of their favourite downtown dancefloor and hangout spot, The Loop.
The venue closed in late 2014 and to these people The Loop was more than just a large room for an alternative crowd in a dilapidated building. It was a pillar of the local music scene, a place that practiced acceptance, a downtown complex consisting of four separate venues, each with its own distinct characteristics.
“Each level of The Loop Complex was completely different from the other,” said David Zelko, a self-described long-time Loop patron that has performed in three out of the four venues in the complex. “Upstairs at The Loop was where everyone who was into alternative music would go to shake their booties. The FM Lounge was more of a rock & roll venue for the general music crowd and in the basement you would find The Coach & Horses where most of Windsor’s punk, metal and hardcore bands called home.”
Tom Lucier, the owner of Phog Lounge, recalls The Loop attracting a very diverse crowd.
“It was a mixed bag of everyone possible. People who wanted to stay clear of the club scene on Ouellette Avenue, but still dance free of judgement,” said Lucier. “It was simply attractive to everyone. It was the “other.” It encompassed a huge group of people’s interests.”
The Rondo and Phog Lounge are also a couple of the very few bars in Windsor that can be described as “other.” They happily support people’s lifestyle choices and want safe and respectable places for everyone. The Loop offered a large room which made Phog Lounge look tiny in comparison. But The Rondo, which opened in 2016, is much more comparable in size, holds more than 400 guests, boasts a beautiful view of the Detroit skyline and also hosts the most popular alternative dance parties in the city.
The Rondo has a well-lit stage that welcomes performers from all disciplines including plays, musicals, specialized parties, yoga and dance classes, recitals and more. They even have a weekly full band open mic night every Thursday hosted by Zelko called Open Jam Shazam. Zelko is also the front man of the local band The Wanderlust Club which held their record release party at The Rondo in March to launch their new album “Sexpectations.”
Zelko, like many others, believes The Rondo is filling a gap left open by The Loop after it closed.
“It’s nice to have such a great place to call home for all of us kids,” he said. “For me, The Rondo is my home away from home and I couldn’t be more happy about it. “
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