Hard Luck, found near Bathurst and Dundas West, brings a new dimension to Toronto's music scene by billing itself as a hard rock venue. Reminiscent of The Horseshoe or even, to a certain extent, Grossman's , Hard Luck has a bare bones feel about it. No fussy decorating touches hang from the ceilings or walls. The plain wooden tables are scattered about the space and easily moved to accommodate different sized groups, or off to the side for dancing crowds. And yet it's not unappealling.
The look is very effortlessly rock 'n' roll. The space has that empty feeling music venues often do, to accommodate crowds, but even half full it manages to capture a romanticized idea of what rock venues should be like instead of being depressing. Everything is well laid-out and the bar has a welcoming ambiance. The bar comes equipped with six drafts on tap and all your basic spirits. The Hard Luck isn't the kind of place where you'd order a mojito, but there are ample reserves of JD and Canadian Club.
The bar hosts live music on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (as well as comedy on Sundays). Hard Luck plays primarily pretty heavy music but the bar showcases a wide spectrum of acts, including rockabilly and country, as well as punk, metal and electronica. The two-storey space is also available to rent out for events.
The stage is small but perfectly intimate. Things can get downright hectic at the Hard Luck depending on the night and who's playing, so fortunately there's an upstairs, too.