1980s, Alternative, Dance Music, Goth, Industrial, New Wave, Punk

Then & Now: Nuts & Bolts

September 22, 2014
Drag legend Divine at Nuts & Bolts, March 1987. With Nuts & Bolts regulars Lynette and Sherri.

Divine (centre) with Nuts & Bolts regulars Lynette and Sherri, 1987. Photo courtesy of David Heymes.

Article originally published December 14, 2011 by The Grid online. Admittedly, it was difficult to research this club’s earliest years and contributors. As a result, a number of  details originally included were inaccurate or incomplete, as pointed out in comments from a number of Grid readers. Some details have been updated as a result. This story will be further researched and developed for the Then & Now book.

In the latest instalment of her nightlife-history series, Denise Benson takes us back to a time when the edge of the Ryerson campus served as a breeding ground for Toronto’s alternative-scene explosion.

BYDENISE BENSON

Club: Nuts & Bolts, 277 Victoria St.

Years of operation: 1980-1988 [Original article stated 1977 - 1988]

Nuts & Bolts logo

History: In many ways, fabled alternative bar Nuts & Bolts was one of Toronto’s most unlikely dance-club success stories. Housed in the basement of a six-storey office building on the edge of Ryerson University’s campus, Nuts & Bolts was owned by Frank Cutajar, also proprietor of the All-Star Eatery, located on the ground floor of the same building.

According to all I spoke with and based on my own experiences—my first professional DJ gigs in Toronto were at Cutajar’s gay/alt club Showbiz, located around the corner, upstairs at 3 Gould St.—Frank was far from cutting-edge or visionary in his approach to running clubs. But he hired wisely.

It seems Nuts & Bolts’ first manager, Ed Jandrisits, was heavily responsible for the bar’s post-punk lean as he, in turn, hired a new-wave-loving staff. Jandrisits set the tone for the venue’s family vibe, with a great number of its bartenders, DJs and other staff—including infamous doorman Henry, who greeted people as they made their way down a dark staircase and through double metal doors—remaining at the club for years, often in a variety of jobs.

David Heymes, with Philip Brown in background. Photo courtesy of David Heymes.

David Heymes, with Philip Brown in background. Photo courtesy of David Heymes.

One such example is David Heymes, an early Nuts & Bolts customer hired by Jandrisits to do lights and then to DJ multiple nights per week between 1978-80.

“Nuts & Bolts was a very cool underground place at the time,” Heymes recalls. “Only Domino Klub on Isabella was playing the same music. Bolts was also a very unique place where people came together and did not judge others.”

Open six-to-seven nights weekly for most of its lifespan, Bolts had staying power thanks to the energy of its staff, loyalty of its new music–seeking audience and creative vision of subsequent managers, including Art Gilewski and Heymes, who took over the role when Gilewski departed in 1985.

Nuts & Bolts regular Debi Tobar (left) with friend. Photo courtesy of Debi Tobar.

Nuts & Bolts regular Debi Tobar (left) with friend. Photo courtesy of Debi Tobar.

Why it was important: Throughout its history, Nuts & Bolts was a gathering point for a variety of outsiders—punks, new wavers, house heads, goths, gays, bisexuals, artists and others. In sync with the downtown culture of its time, Bolts opened soon after David Marsden took the helm at CFNY (now 102.1 the Edge) and developed it into a true alternative-music station under its famous “spirit of radio” banner. The club and the radio station were parallel entities, with Nuts & Bolts then one of the only licensed spaces in Toronto where people could dance to songs like The Vibrators’ “Disco in Moscow” or The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette.” As a result, patrons visited the club religiously.

Nuts & Bolts regulars. DJ Iain, tallest, at back. Photo courtesy of David Heymes.

Nuts & Bolts regulars. DJ Iain, tallest, at back. Photo courtesy of David Heymes.

“The crowds at Bolts were always incredibly diverse,” recalls Iain McPherson, a.k.a. DJ Iain, who got his professional start spinning Wednesdays and then weekends at the club in the mid ’80s. “There were punks, fashionistas, skinheads, university preppies, goths and so on, and yet there were hardly ever any fights, despite the fact that we were drawing on groups of people who, in other situations, often did not get along well.”

Jason Fox modeling for Leather X. Photo courtesy of him.

Jason Fox modeling for Leather X. Photo courtesy of him.

“What made Nuts & Bolts stand out from the other clubs was its cohesive alt-community,” agrees Philip Brown, another musically adventurous DJ who developed his reputation playing first at Domino and then as a resident at Bolts. Brown brought his blends of ska, reggae, new wave and dance-punk to the club for three years, beginning in 1985.

“Musically, we were all about a great mix of styles, with enough flexibility to keep everyone entertained, rather than creating musically compartmentalized theme nights,” says Brown. “If you went to Bolts, you were open to all of the subs of subculture, and moved forward as music and style changed, rather than staying stuck in a particular place and time.”

Similarly, the club itself was treated to renovations in the mid-’80s that put signature characteristics in place, namely Nuts & Bolts’ two-tiered stainless steel dancefloor—slippery when wet, but crazy fun to dance on—complete with lights built right in and neon lighting above. The soundsystem was upgraded, the large load-bearing columns were painted a faux marble and local artists including Fiona Smyth and Kurt Swinghammer decorated parts of the club with original murals.

Manager Art Gilewski was a driving force through many of the changes and is frequently credited with helping to revive Nuts & Bolts as attendance began to dip about seven years into its existence. Gilewski hired DJs—including both Brown and McPherson—who constantly looked forward and heavily influenced the next decade of Toronto’s downtown “alternative” nightlife as they did so. McPherson also played a significant role in connecting alt, industrial and early rave audiences.

Varoshi Fame’s Jon Christian, Philip Brown and Deborah Forbes. Photo courtesy of Philip Brown.

Varoshi Fame’s Jon Christian, Philip Brown and Deborah Forbes. Photo courtesy of Philip Brown.

Who else played there: Nuts & Bolts explored and exploded with a rotating roster of local DJs. Some played there for mere weeks or months, others for years at a time, so to list them all is impossible. Early residents included Jeffrey LeClair and Ivar Hamilton. A DJ named Tom Brown did a rockabilly night. Stephen Scott famously DJed on Thursdays during the run of popular weekly Ballroom Blitz. Ivan Palmer held down Sundays for good chunk of 1985. House and dance music DJ Chris Torella—of the Starsound Records shop on Yonge and influential monthly music magazine Streetsound—anchored Nuts & Bolts’ weekends for a stretch. Community radio host and deeply knowledgeable sonic warrior Chris Twomey presented Toronto’s first industrial music specialty night on Sundays.

“He was always edgy,” recalls McPherson. “Twomey’s music was incredibly controversial, as were his amazing videos; it was stuff you would never see elsewhere.”

Flyer for Divine at Nuts & Bolts, 1987

Flyer for Divine at Nuts & Bolts, 1987

And though its sightlines were far from ideal, Nuts & Bolts hosted occasional live performances, most notably by both Divine and Front 242 in 1987, as part of the club’s 10-year celebrations.

“We had our regular cashier act as the hostess for Front 242’s green room when they came to play,” McPherson shares. “She ended up marrying the lead singer and moving to Belgium with him.”

Pointedly political industrial/noise band Varoshi Fame—of which both Phillip Brown and David Heymes were members for a period—also played Bolts a number of times.

Error: Invalid URL!

What happened to it: From the mid-’80s on, as alternative music became far more popular and accessible, Toronto saw licensed clubs such as The Copa, RPM, The Dance Cave, Silver Crown, Boom Boom Room, Tazmanian Ballroom and others open and include alt theme nights in their lineups. Nuts & Bolts now had far more competition, as audiences began to follow specific DJs or music genres rather than sticking to one or two favourite haunts.

Profits were down and the lease at 277 Victoria came up for renewal in 1987; as none of Frank Cutajar’s existing businesses were thriving at the time, he closed the All-Star Eatery and moved Nuts & Bolts to 3 Gould in 1988, morphing it with Showbiz, where the club faded over time.

Heymes went on to bartend at The Copa and then to manage 1990s alt-club the Lizard Lounge, where he worked with Brown, McPherson, Paul Talan and other core staff.

The basement and ground floor of 277 Victoria St. remained empty for some time and became a Second Cup location after construction from 1988-90 added five more storeys to the office building. Later, with an eye towards development of Yonge-Dundas Square and the surrounding area, there were plans in place to demolish the building and build a 45-floor hotel. Today, 277 Victoria is home to Toronto Public Health, housing a variety of offices and departments.

Upstairs at 3 Gould Street, the former club space went on to house a variety of retailers before Salad King restaurant expanded to two floors. The heritage building at Yonge and Gould was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 3 of this year. It has since been demolished.

You Might Also Like

18 Comments

  • Reply Paula Drummond April 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Bolts was the place where everyone was themselves. What I really miss are the Sunday baseball games – staff vs regulars. Barb and I would make Purple Jesus and watch Congo make fantastic plays. We loved Henry watching out for us and Dave always served us first. That kind of time and those amazing people will rarely be seen again.

    • Reply BarbaraMurphy April 4, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      That’s right. Baseball not football. We’ll I may of been a bit hung over most Sundays!

  • Reply Barb Murphy April 4, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Bolts was a home away from home in college. Monday nights – all you could drink for $10 for ladies – Thursday – 2 for 1 drinks and then Friday and
    Saturday night. Nothing like that all night Younge bus to the all night Queen st car back home!

    The staff was amazing, Henry Celeste, best doorman/bouncer ever! Congo in the kitchen, Danielle and her big hat waitressing and Tracey and Liz behind
    the bar. This would be around 1983-87. Anyone remember that sad parrot they had in the ticket booth? Marie Suha and that giant mohawk!

    Paul Vella, I know you! You married my best friend, Paula. Short lived as the nuptials were, I was at the wedding in the dark north of Ontario. I believe your comment was “Its dark like we are driving in to death!” Nice.
    To the others, the dancers, Irish Bob Noble, Remo Romolo,Jim, Carol & Lindy, Chris, Paula, Heather and English Mike, incredible hours of dancing. Probably in the best shape of my life! Where ever you all are, I hope you are well and can remember some of those nights! There was even the odd Sunday morning Hangover Bowls, football games pitting staff against patrons. I was a cheerleader.

    Enjoyed the trip

  • Reply Eva January 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    We, my friends and I used to go there every weekend in 1982. Had a great time there. Great music and fabolous people. We where a bounch of blond girls from Sweden.

  • Reply Music and DJing - Past and Present Part 1 | George Dus December 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    […] then my genre of music was mostly alternative and gothic. I actually got a DJ gig at Nuts and Bolts spinning alternative music on Wednesday nights. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as the club […]

  • Reply Jason Misurka January 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Just reading the comments aforementioned . Yup , Nuts n Bolts was a sick nite club at the time . Played awesome new wave ( industrial ) music . I saw that Front 242 show there at the time and I remember I could almost touch Patrick Codenys ( Keyboard ) player . Very fond memories there that I will cherish forever . DJ Iain was ahead of the times playing unique electronic tunes . If you happen to read this , I’m trying to remember a song you used to play . I believe the artist was ” Half Def” track was ‘Delusion’? Thx and peace to all !! J

    • Reply Iain January 13, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Hey Jason,
      Nice to hear from you. Thank you for such kind comments!

      Man, you were soooooo close with the spelling! :) The song was Half Def’s “D’Aleutian.” It was very rare and interestingly is one of the only pieces of vinyl I kept when selling off my record collection.

      I looked for a YouTube post of the trash but sadly no success (cc. the ‘very rare’ comment!) ;) Perhaps someone else will have better luck. (You might want to reach out in the still active ‘Voodoo Club” Facebook group. Lots of music types seem to hang out there. Some even posted a link to IRT’s “Watch The Closing Doors” there once. Good times. :)

      I WAS able to track down the Discogs listing for you. You can find it here: http://www.discogs.com/Half-Def-D-Aleutien/release/1222539

      Hope that’s of some help! All the best, and thanks again for the kind words!

      - Iain
      http://iain-mcpherson.com

      • Reply Iain January 13, 2016 at 11:12 pm

        Hahaha. My apologies. The title is “D’Aleutian” with two e’s – not two a’s.

        Gotta love autocorrect!
        - I

        • Reply Iain January 13, 2016 at 11:13 pm

          Arrrg! Keeps changing just before I post! “D’Aleutien.” Sigh. Dang ‘puters!
          - I

          • Jason Misurka January 14, 2016 at 7:25 am

            Wow , you responded so quickly . Thank you for that . It really brings back good times . I hope your doing well after such a long time ago . All the best to you Iain . J

        • Reply Jason Misurka January 14, 2016 at 8:32 am

          Greetings Iain, appreciate the link . Unfortunately it was taken down from YouTube for some infringement beaurocrocy.
          Was looking at your website for a moment , very impressive . You were a busy gent even back then spinning tunes and education.
          I dabble with synthesis in my spare time , I have a personal affinity with synthesizer ‘s . Could you recommend a user friendly music editor
          that could work with midi. All the best !
          Kindest Regards J

  • Reply jon October 8, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I spent 1981 in TO, after getting a ride across the country from Vancouver that winter. I found Nuts & Bolts with my buddy Steve, and I boldly asked the manager, Keith, if I could have a job as a waiter. He hired me as a barback, and thus began the best summer I’d ever had. What a crew! I turned 21 in mid-May and we had a bit of a party that night — I wonder if that was the night my leather jacket got stolen.

    I would start in the afternoon with a burger that I cooked up in the kitchen, was it an old trailer? Then we’d work all night, what a gas. At 1 pm the lights went on and we took away all the booze, and then the party continued for another 2 hours. After we finally closed, the DJ (sorry I don’t remember your name man) would put on the dub, and everyone would clean up, go outside and smoke, and the bouncers would groove to the reggae on the dance floor. And I remember the wriggle!

    Keith and I would do our Elvis impersonations in front of the bar when the rockabilly would come on, Stray Cat Strut. I also remember “Walkin’ on the Beaches, Lookin’ at the Peaches” by the Stranglers, tons of other great tunes.

    “Hey punk rocker!” was a common greeting, I wore black jeans, worn-out Converse sneakers held together with safety pins, and t-shirts a la The Ramones.

    The best fun was after hours, all the staff would sit at the bar and Keith would sell beer, $1 into a beer mug to replace each bottle in the bar fridge, not sure if anyone knew or if the incoming bartender would just ring them in at the beginning of the next night.

    One of my jobs was to somehow guard the walk-in refridgerator, either outside or inside I don’t remember, while the staff cashed out and counted the money. It was a really busy club so there was lots of it! Not sure why I got the job, I weighed about 135 pounds! Funny, when I moved to NYC in 1986 I ended up in a similar job, stationed by the door at Spring Street Books in Soho, where my job was “to watch.” Is a skinny guy in Doc Martins and black jeans intimidating enough to be a bouncer? I certainly didn’t feel that tough!

    At Nuts & Bolts on Mondays, a dead night, my job was to be the waiter, while Keith ran the bar, the dj (Iain?) played the tunes and Henry (of course) did the door. Always fun, I remember having a smoke in the dj booth one night, just before a swimming or diving club, some two or three dozen people, all came in after some sports meet or meeting. Instead of 2 or 3 bartenders and a handful of waiters, there was just me and Keith. And I had just finished smoking, it was crazy!

    Two of the regular bartenders came down to help out, but for the first hour I was just going to the bar and getting 5 screwdrivers, 5 rye and sevens, and five beers and trying to match them up with the customers who thought I could remember their orders! Trip after trip, of course I dropped the entire tray on the dance floor the first time out — a trial by fire for sure.

    A big shout-out to Keith, the girls and all the rest of you crazy MFs who inspired me to continue doing the same kind of thing when I came back to Vancouver — shades of Nuts and Bolts lived on in Mr. Toast (Vancouver’s 2nd speakeasy) and the legit clubs Love Affair and Faces. Love you guys!

    - Jon

  • Reply Randolph July 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I used to go to this dance club every week for the years it was in operation. The place was great and had great dance music and everyone was super friendly. It was not only a time when there was great dance music but a time when we could be free and be ourselves.

  • Reply Judy Ruffolo July 26, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I have no idea why I decided to google this after all these years LOL! Hi Y’all!!! Xxo!

    • Reply glen ward May 25, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Hi I don’t know if this is the Judy that use to be the bartender at Nuts and Bolts I , we use to call the Cat I’m the guy that only drank Michelob beer if so Email if you want to

  • Reply Jeem February 27, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    What about Keith Tupper?

    • Reply Rick Taylor April 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Judy

      Were you the bartender ? It’s me Rick I ran in with you a few years back in High Park I believe? Was so nice to see you but did not really get q chance to catch up and laugh st all our shenanigans during those years! Hope you r well. Ru n face book would love to catch up again as I forgot some stuff! Lol
      Thanks Judy

      Rick Taylor

  • Reply Sarah Wayne December 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    All comments in the string below have been republished from their original appearance on The Grid website. We’re including the readers’ comments as they add to these Then & Now stories. We look forward to reading new comments here as well.

    David
    Many great memories! How can i post pix? 

9:48 am on June 7, 2014 






    Bruce
    
Maybe set-up a Facebook group. I don’t think pics can be posted here. 

9:28 pm on October 20, 2014 







    Paul Vella
    I lived at this place with my friends Chuck, Larry
Toni, Robbert, Keith, Kevin…it was a great place to dance
And hear great music. I miss the club and always wearing my hat
Long like Ska music!!!
Paul Vella (find me on face book if you still out there) 

7:41 pm on November 5, 2013 







    Chantale
    Some of my fondest memories were made at Nuts & Bolts… I spent so much time there while I was an art student to the years after. The people, the music, the atmosphere… It was nothing short of being a feast for the eyes and ears. The Lizard Lounge was a close second once N&B closed. What a great trip down Memory Lane seeing the pictures! David, Philip, Marco, Henry… I hope you’re all doing well! Heck, I think I still have my VIP card! 

7:48 pm on September 6, 2013 






    Karen
    Loved this club! The patio was the best place to be in the summer!
Acid, dancing and blue shots! 

3:36 pm on February 22, 2013 







    Hali
    
Paying homage to Nuts and Bolts, we are presently a special one-off night on the night after Boxing Day 2012
Featuring international talent signed to Mute, Kompakt, KK, and Zoth Ommog.
https://www.facebook.com/events/157679601044946/?fref=ts
Free admission with Nuts and Bolts or Lizard Lounge club cards. 

5:45 am on December 14, 2012 







    Dereck
    
Best club ever, quick story. Sex pistols song comes on, everyone on the dance floor. start slam dancing shirt gets ripped off, fighting with this skin head. Me and my budys dont have to leave cause were friends with the door guys. Come back next weekend( like we always did).. standing at the bar , look over and see the guy Id fought last weekend, his hands in a cast. Spots me and starts to come over.. Im thinkin here we go again. To my surprise , he puts his good hand on my shoulder and says.. Good fight man, but shit ya got a hard head, then proceded to order us a round of shooters. Thats just the way the club was, you never knew how your night would turn out! (Miss that clb ) 

10:36 am on October 27, 2012 






    Anonymous
    great clb 

10:22 am on October 27, 2012 






    Melinda 

    we fondly called nuts….sluts and dolts. I loved ska nights and all the alternative/punk nights. I also really loved Lizard Lounge….it was cavernous…kind of like the Apocalypse for punk concerts. I never got to go to the Turning Point for punk shows as I was too young…along with Larry’s hideaway…but really wish I had. 

7:26 pm on July 18, 2012 







    clubgirlgodess
    I loved nuts and bolts even if i experienced the tail end of it. The Lizard lounge became my next hang out spot.Love and miss all the legendary clubs toronto had
and im glad i experienced almost every single one. 

11:04 pm on May 25, 2012 






    Peter T (SHAM)
    
I was a regular from 80 to 83. Great friends, great songs! 

8:55 pm on March 12, 2012 






    pointyshoe
    what was the music on nuts and bolts tv ad? 

1:02 am on March 18, 2012 







    Ed J 

    Hi …This is Ed Jandrisits. Nuts and Bolts was born in 1980. It was originally opened as a disco, Studio 277, in 1979. I was hired early in 1980 by Frank Cutajar, a Ryerson grad who spent years at Princess Resorts, and the American Embassy in Paris as their catering manager before owning 9 restaurants and bars in downtown Toronto. The club was the creation of myself and Jody C, a musician and artist. We spent many trips travelling to NYC to buy records, visit clubs and bring a piece of the excitement of the NY music scene to Toronto. The original DJ’s Jeff, Harry, Larry, David, Dennis, Chris and Ivar Hamilton helped create a atmospere that packed the basement with as many as 1000 clubbers 7 nights a week. They were good times and it was an exciting time for all of us to be part of the success of the club. We worked closely with 99 Records near Washington Square, Record Peddlar, Roblin Records, CFNY and Dennis Cote to bring the newest sounds to Toronto from arounf the world. We were inspired by the big apple …CBGB, Mud Club, Hurrah, Ritz, and Vendredi 13 Quebec City, Limelight Montreal. Everyone there was like a big family and we shared a love for music, having fun and the 100 minute club. Cheers, Ed 

4:54 pm on December 19, 2011 







    Jeffrey LeClair
    
Hi… This is Jeffrey LeClair and I was the original resident DJ for Nuts & Bolts from 1979 through to 1981. Frank hired me in 1979 when Studio 277 was still playing Disco and dying a horrible death….within a few weeks the music format was changed to New Wave and Punk and Nuts & Bolts was born. During my residency I was the sole Dj and played every night the club was open with the exception of when I was sick when my lighting man Harry would fill in for me. One of my favorite things to do was play a solid one hour set of Sex Pistols if too many people made lame music requests. And then there was “The Squirm”… I would venture out of the DJ booth with my headphones attached to a 50ft extension, lay on my back in the middle of the dance floor and wiggle around like a worm. Nuts & Bolts was a crazy place to work at… most definitely notorious! 

9:59 am on January 10, 2012 







    kevin calhoun
    
you guys truly have messed up the history of Nuts and bolts, the first people to work there was the creators of the new wave punk phenomena. I no as i sat at the table with frank the owner and 5 or 6 other people and franks question was clear, we had 2 to 3 months to take a unsuccessful disco into a successful night club and if we couldn’t come up with an idea frank would have to close it down. I hired Henry and we ran that door for the next 8 years. there were barely any fights in that bar because if you fought you were not allowed back in and this was a club that you didnt want to miss. If anyone has any memories to share god id love to here them. if you dont believe me ask frank or eddy they were the best part of this club,  

2:07 pm on October 31, 2012 







    kevin calhoun
    hi ed
the most influential people in creating nuts and bolts was Judy and her boyfriend and ed was right it was a disco first. Ed help make the club what it was. I protected it, Henry was and still is in my heart, I hired him so when a fight broke out, Henry held them back and i knocked them out one at a time i always protected the meek
that’s why it was one of the safest clubs to go to 

2:21 pm on October 31, 2012 







    Martin West
    
Would love to see a “Then & Now” on the Copa and RPM 

11:58 am on December 19, 2011 






    Ron Burgundy
    You know why Ryerson is cool now? Its a UNIVERSITY!! Before, it handed out pieces of paper for polytechnic institute graduates. What the @#$% is a polytechnic institute anyway? It has beautiful buildings being built, a student centre, has now surpassed York U in overall educational quality and has an athletic centre that makes other university athletics look like elementary school gymnasiums. Ryerson is now a top class institution in Toronto, not some drug infested, drag queen creating asylum it once was. 

12:01 am on December 17, 2011 







    BequiaT
    
I had to laugh reading the first few paragraphs of this article. Frank Cutajar is my uncle, and as a kid spent many happy times at Nuts & Bolts, his Dilly Deli (which became the All Star Eatery) where my Maltese grandfather worked behind the counter, the Cornucopia and the Back room at the Sheraton.
The closest my uncle came to farming was picking bushels of tomatoes and apples with the family at harvest season out in the Niagara Region as a kid. They were a poor family who worked hard to feed 9 people on a single income; my uncle continued to work hard and thive with his businesses. 

9:13 am on December 16, 2011 







    DJ Iain 

    Hi Bequila T,
How cool to hear from one of Frank’s relatives! 
I must say i am VERY suprised to see your note. I gave Denise the info re: Frank being a farmer. The information I had was from numerous conversations with Frank and others over the years. (I was the weekend DJ and Promo Manager at the club for a couple of years and had many meetings and conversations with him in the course of my time there.) 
Perhaps I misunderstood but I am pretty sure my recollection of Frank as a farmer was also the accepted knowledge and understanding amongst all who worked for him. Perhaps he intended to cultivate a ‘nice down home’ image? Frank always did work in mysterious ways to many of his staff!!  (not unlike many other club owners who I later came to know and work with over my 15 years in the business!!) Perhaps his personal life and history just fits with that ‘man of mystery’ m.o.. 
I should also add that, while mysterious and tight (good) with the $$$, he was also always incredibly nice to me – even when he gave me the boot just as the club was about to move location. Frank was the one who gave me my first opportunity at management having first moved me up the in the DJ ranks. I am ever grateful for having had the opportunity to work for him at such a landmark club. 
Hope my information given to Denise has not caused any concern. It certainly was not my intention to pass along any erroneous info! Rumours certainly tended to fly in clubland – and the idea of “Frank Cutajar, The Framer Owner” of one of the most cutting edge clubs of it’s time may just have been too compelling to ignore! ;p 

10:10 am on December 17, 2011 







    DJ Iain
    er – ““Frank Cutajar, The FARMER Owner”… M-u-st c-h-e-c-k s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g b-e-f-o-r-e p-o-s-t-i-n-g! ;p 

10:16 am on December 17, 2011 







    wildeyed
    
I just want to say that I love this series of columns. Please keep it going. 

8:22 am on December 16, 2011 







    zeinati 

    fully agree…i actually look forward to them 

5:37 pm on December 16, 2011 







    what the what
    I work in that bldg now. It’s a boring expanse of cubicles. Nice to know of its previous life. Cool. 

9:51 pm on December 15, 2011 







    The Unknown Torontonian
    
I was a regular at N&B (and also Domino’s) in the early 1980s and, at the risk of sounding like an old fart, miss both of these venues very much! The vibe was friendly and unpretentious, and both the music and clientele were eclectic. My favourite memory of the place is dancing my face off to Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” as part of a sweaty mix of punks, hippies, rastafarians, Bowie clones, nerds, goths, preps, and rockers … 

11:32 am on December 15, 2011 







    Michael X 

    Wonderful story and thanks for bringing the past to light. 
I too was lucky enough to have Nuts and Bolts on my resume. I was only 18 at the time and not even allowed to drink, but thanks to Derek Perkins and some luck I was spinning the ‘Upstairs’ version of Bolts in 1988. 
What I remember most fondly was the true cross-section of music that was played there. It made it a pleasure and a challenge to keep the dance floor full.
Thanks for the memories.
Dj Michael X 

12:29 am on December 15, 2011 







    Marco 

    Yow Michael…. Your buddy Marco here we’ve run into each other now and again a couple of years ago.. Hope all is well…
Talk to you soon.
BTW folks I was one of the doormen of Nuts and Bolts upstairs… 

11:40 pm on October 2, 2012 







    william Engel
    
I never had any money then, but the pool table was always open at the beginning of the night, the stainless steel dance floor was great as was the music. Hope your well David Long time! 

12:25 am on December 15, 2011 







    deb
    
that stainless steel dance floor was lifted and brought to catch 22 fyi 

7:02 pm on January 10, 2012 






    DavidHeymes 

    Just wanted to Clarity that I went to Bartend at the copa and then was hired to reinvent the Lizard Lounge were I hired Philip, Iain and the rest of the gang to create a new and exciting space for the early 90′s. Great peice ! Brings me back to a great time in my life! Thanks, David 

9:40 pm on December 14, 2011 







    Steve Skolney
    
Yes and what a great job you did at the Lizard Lounge. I was the bartender there when it was a college pub then you turned it into something special…and I stayed bartending there till the day it closed. 

12:00 pm on December 15, 2011 







    Erin O’Connor
    
Little late to this piece (hi Dave/Steve/Iain!) I was also a bartender at the Lizard Lounge, in the pool room. Nutz and Boltz and Lizard were unequalled. Best atmosphere and staff ever! Long live the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. No white pumps remains my personal dress code. 

5:32 pm on January 31, 2012 






    George
    
Who the heck could “thumbs down” a comment form Myrna? Miss the old days. Nuts & Bolts has a very special place in my heart. It’s where I met the man of my dreams…and we’re still together 23 years later! 

1:02 am on May 29, 2012 







    Angelina Ieraci
    I sadly pnly discovered N & B at the end of its’ life but The Lizard was my absolute favourite bar experience EVER. It had a wonderful cavernous feeling to it and I danced many hours there, catharticly getting out all my Demons at the time. It was the Grumbling 90′s after all.
LOVED DJ Iain’s spinning and Hedley Jones’ as well. I was so sad when it closed. There was nothing quite like it. 

6:01 pm on December 14, 2011 






    Rob Walker
    
This is weird,Angelina but i frequented The Lizard Lounge and i don,t remember for the life of me where it was located.Can you fill me in on this part of my past? 

10:05 pm on December 15, 2011 







    James 

    Rob, Lizard Lounge was in an alley running off the west side of Church, just north of Gerrard. 

8:23 pm on December 16, 2011

  • Leave a Reply