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Wrecked Room a basement jewel

Jamie Vandermoer
The London Free Press

Jamie Vandermoer
Although its crowds have been growing steadily, enough that there was a lineup to get in last weekend, chances are you probably haven't heard of the Wrecked Room or even know where it is.

It's located at the city's busiest nightclub corner, Richmond and York streets, but there's no neon sign in front, no flashing lights, no real signage of any kind to even tell you it's there.

Even if you walked right by, it would be easy to miss the entranceway unless you were looking for it.

The first few times I stopped in to the Wrecked Room, I didn't even know what the name of the place was. In fact, until last week, I didn't even think it really had an official name.

The Wrecked Room opened very quietly a few months ago in the basement portion of Ichabod's Nightclub; no name at first, just a dark, cramped club that played great music. At the time people simply referred to it as the "basement."

Initially, the crowds were somewhat sparse, but with each successive visit, I noticed a distinct and growing following of devotees.

Friday night's crowd filled the place to capacity and a small lineup formed out front.

So what's attracting people to the Wrecked Room while nightclubs immediately adjacent to it are clamouring for business during the summer holiday season? Novelty, I suppose. And the music, I'm certain.

The Wrecked Room is something new, so there's always the newness factor that attracts people initially. But once inside, it's the music that definitely keeps people there.

If you like it loud, if you like it hard and if you like it way past alternative, you'll love what they play at the Wrecked Room.

Limp Bizkit, Korn, Rob Zombie, Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More and many others make up the deejay's playlist.

The Wrecked Room's subterranean location is dark and windowless, giving it a kind of secretive, disconnected feel.

So it's no surprise that along with the well-outside-the-mainstream music, the Wrecked Room attracts a very "different" variety of fan.

Things that would cause quite a commotion at more staid nightclubs go completely unnoticed inside the Wrecked Room. No outfit is too outlandish, no dance too unusual and there's no such thing as too much black eyeliner.

On the other hand, you could walk into the Wrecked Room with a polo shirt and khaki pants and while you might look out of place, nobody's going to make you feel out of place. Inhibitions are checked at the door. And nobody's judging anybody else down here.

Beer at the Wrecked Room is reasonably priced at $3 a bottle, but the house specialty is mixed drinks in a small pitcher for $8.

I guess the larger drinks make for fewer trips to the bar, leaving more time for the dance floor.

The Wrecked Room won't suit everyone's tastes. Fans of Top 40 music won't recognize a single song. People with attitudes won't last through their first drink.

But if you like your nightlife a little on the wild side, or you just want something completely different, it's worth searching for the place.

You'll be surprised what's down there.


Where: 335 Richmond St. (downstairs);