First opening its doors in 1960, the Zanzibar Toronto Strip Club is one of the oldest nightclubs in Toronto.
It was originally a live music venue but the club has undergone a series of facelifts over the years, from jazz and blues music in the fifties to go-go dancers in the sixties before its reinvention as a strip club in the seventies.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the modern day Zanza Bar. Is it worth visiting? How does it rank against Toronto’s other strip clubs?
Zanzibar Club Review: Catnip for Tourists…
Situated on Yonge Street (formerly the world’s longest street), Club Zanzibar is one of Toronto’s landmark buildings. With its recognisable neon lights and big blue stars the tag line runs that ‘the girls never stop’.
Well, they do stop…at 2am each night!
Famously appearing in Hollywood movies such as The Suicide Squad, The Incredible Hulk and Exit Wounds, the club was also in the headlines for its unique signage. During the G8 summit of 2010, the façade of the club proudly announced:
“Forget G8: Try G Strings” and called for the G20 leaders to “Solve World Peace in our VIP Rooms”
The club is also a Pokestop following the latest PokemonGo crave and the club took no hesitation to add:
“Let our ladies get a Pikachu!”
With a good range of dancers working the stages, the rota for this club varies all the time and offers a good mix of live nude dancers.
Some guides report that the club has over 175 dancers but this information is dated with conservative estimates nearer 30 ladies. Of course, it’s difficult to tell as they don’t all work at the same time and many of the visitor ‘field reports’ are from men passing through on their travels — or couples who’ve come here as part of a whirlwind ‘sightseeing’ vacation.
The layout of Zanzibar Strip Club is open and inviting and the décor is smart with sufficiently low-level lighting to keep a charged atmosphere but not so dim that you can’t enjoy the dancers.
The club has two sides to it; the side which is trying to appeal to a typical strip-club audience and present itself as the gentleman’s club it isn’t. The other side, which it doesn’t have to work hard to advertise, is as a famous tourist attraction.
There is no end to the couples and visitors who drop in as a result of the no cover charge, stay for a drink or two and then leave. This doesn’t add to the atmosphere and the management might want to reconsider if they care about improving the vibe — but can you blame them when those tourist dollars are flowing?
Overall, the Zanzibar Tavern receives a very mixed bag of reviews from those that are surprised at the prices to regulars who enjoy the atmosphere despite the swarm of people coming and going.
You could argue that the Tavern’s glory days are long gone and this strip club is now more known for its tourist lure than it’s striptease, but there are still plenty of regulars who enjoy the venue.
There’s no doubt, Zanzibar is an iconic landmark on Yonge Street and one of the most famous strip clubs in Ontario.
‘Zanza Bar Toronto’: Services & Facilities
The club has several private VIP rooms in which you can enjoy a one-on-one lap dance with your favourite dancer. The house is very strict on the prevailing no-touching rules and there is certainly no hint of any ‘extras’ at the Zanzibar.
The club offers full bottle services and has a good range of domestic and imported beers, soft drinks, spirits and champagne.
The club does not charge a cover fee and there is no minimum drinks to be paid for.
The cost of the drinks can be pricey with premium spirits costing around $20 CAD for a double and soft drinks being $8-10.
(The model is clearly: get them through the door and let them drink.)
There is an ATM on site which charges a fee of $2, not per withdrawal but, per note dispensed; taking out $100 will cost you a service charge of $10.
You can arrange for lap dances in the VIP area which costs $20 for the cover and up to $240 per half hour. The information given on the floor can be misleading as the stated fees are $20 per song so do make sure you have agreed a price before committing to a private screening.
Budget for $80 per ten minutes and you will not be surprised by your final bill.
Club Zanzibar is open daily from 11.15am until 2am.
The club occasionally has special events with later closing times so check their social media feeds for the latest information.
You can find the Zanzibar Tavern at 359 Yonge Street, Toronoto, M5B 1S1 in the heart of downtown. Yonge Street is very long — the club is north of Dundas Street and the Eaton Centre.
There is no parking specifically for the site but you can find Green P parking on Dundas Street or Standard parking on Bay Street.
Contact Details / Making a Booking
Need to get in touch with Zanzibar Tavern Strip Club? Want to make a booking?
Here are the details you will need:
Phone: (416) 977-4642
Have you been to the famous old Tavern strip club?
What did you make of the experience?
Let us know your thoughts, comments and Zanzibar reviews below.