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Lula Lounge has established itself as the go-to venue in Toronto for world-music, Latin-jazz, salsa dancing, and an unmatched big-band concert experience. The stage also hosts classical music, spoken word and burlesque performances. “Basically anything that doesn’t have a home in the greater Toronto scenes, they find a little bit of a home here,” says co-owner, Jose Ortega.

Jose has been providing a home for Toronto’s eclectic music scene since 2000 when he began throwing parties in his old apartment, just a few blocks from Lula’s current location. He recalls asking his friend Mike Sobreira to provide salsa lessons to some friends gathering in his loft. “The first Monday night eight people came. And then the following Monday night twelve people came, and it just grew,” he recalls. Friends of friends returned week after week bringing food and drinks until the weekly salsa gatherings took on a life of their own.

Seeing the potential, Jose and his business partner, Jose Nieves, established a not-for-profit artistic collective called Open City — a confluence of artists, spoken word, music, food and dancing. Their first party attracted over 700 people and after two years of operating out of Jose’s apartment, the business partners decided they needed a proper venue.

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    Jerowe R
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    Positive experience

    Staff were friendly, Place was clean.

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    Appears in 6 Smart Lists

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