Open mic at Ein-Stein’s Cafe and Pub

by Chad Kirvan
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Lliya Vee at Ein-Stien's

Lliya Vee

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Ein-Stein’s Cafe and Pub is the place to be on Wednesday nights. This is because from 9pm until close, Ein-Stein’s holds one of the most entertaining and hilarious free open mics in the city. What makes it such a good time? Well for starters, the entire evening is hosted by the very funny Josh Ball, who has been keeping this fantastic open mic going for almost 13 years. Throughout these amazing years Josh has been dedicated to getting the crowd going with a slew of jokes, a ton of contests, trivia games and prizes. It’s essentially a weekly party with local musicians at the centre of the attention.

After hearing all the hype, I had to check this open mic out for myself. I can honestly say that Ein-Stein’s Cafe definitely lives up to its reputation. As soon as I walked into the crowed bar I could feel the raw energy and see the positive affect it had on the performers, especially the first timers. There was literally no pressure on the performers at all and it seemed as if anyone could take the stage and be made to feel like a world famous artist.

Open mic at Ein-Stein's Cafe and Pub - Dimitar Pentchev

Dimitar Pentchev

Good examples of this were the first two acts of the night which featured songs from an elementary student, Jessica Pagliuca, and amazing instrumentals from world renowned guitarist, Ewan Dobson. The interesting thing about these two performers were, despite Dobson’s huge name in the music industry, and regardless of the fact that Pagliuca is just starting her career, both artist were given the exact same amount of attention from the audience. This proved to me that the fans at Ein-Stein’s don’t show up to see one specific act, they come for a full and complete night of music and fun.

Artists really like to play at Ein-Stein’s Cafe and Pub because this place is constantly giving back. Throughout the entire evening the crowd and artists were given countless opportunities to win prizes like hats, tee shirts and belt buckles. In addition to all this swag, each performer received a free pint of beer to calm their nerves. But most of all, Ein-Stein’s Cafe does its giving back by providing the performing musicians with a huge crowd. All to often musicians attend open mics only to be heard by a small group of uninterested people. At Ein-Stein’s things are much different. When you play there you play in front of a huge audience, but are made to feel like you’re just showing off your skills to a group of friends.

Open mic at Ein-Stein's Cafe and Pub - James Gilbert

James Gilbert

How does Ein-Stein’s draw this crowd? To answer this question I polled some of the fans in attendance. Most answers, including the one from the Toronto Varsity Track and Field team, were “We come because we love the music and we love the chicken wings”. To that I say “Oh Yeah”. Who doesn’t love great food and music?  A relaxed atmosphere, great sounds and delicious food are what creates the fantastic experience at Ein-Stein’s Cafe every Wednesday night.

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