Good news, Toronto: The city’s longest-running jazz club is back.
The Rex is reopening Thursday to host two live shows a night, seven days a week. The shows will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 p.m.
The Rex normally hosts 80 shows a month, but that number suddenly dropped to zero when the COVID-19 lockdown started.
The venue’s management was “torn and conflicted” when other businesses in Toronto began reopening, according to a statement issued this week. They decided not to reopen for food and drinks until they could re-launch as an exclusive live music venue and focus on “the very thing we’ve been promoting for so long: the music.”
With its reopening, a lot will change at the Rex.
“We are stringently abiding by health guidelines, and then some,” management said in its announcement.
There are now polycarbonate barriers on stage to separate musicians and patrons. Tables are set up far enough apart from each other to maintain physical distancing, and there are arrows taped to the floor to guide people’s movement throughout the venue. The venue has stepped up its cleaning and sanitation procedures and introduced an improved billing system. Now, gratuity and performance fees are automatically included in each bill “to ensure safe, efficient and fair service.”
The Rex also says due to stage renovations, sound quality has improved throughout the venue.
Doors are open daily from 4 to 11 p.m.
“We hope you will join the Rex family once again, ensuring a safe and successful partnership,” management said.
Toronto jazz fans were due for some good news after the COVID-19 pandemic forced several of the city’s most beloved clubs to permanently close. The Orbit Room announced in July that it would cease to exist, and the 120 Diner preceded them in May.
Just before lockdown measures went into effect, Hugh’s Room Live had said it was looking for a new home.