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Climb the long, narrow stairs between the cheese and fish shops of the Byward Market to Ottawa's trendiest jazz bar, the Mercury Lounge. Besides, there are DJ and dance events, poetry reading sessions and more making Mercury Lounge a versatile event venue. A red velvet theme runs throughout the narrow, two-floor club, from the lanterns over the bar to the thick drapes hanging from the factory ceilings. Dress varies among the young, professional, club-going patrons, from fashionable evening wear to the occasional pair of jeans.
If you're 25 and over and you feel like avoiding Ottawa's very young nightclub crowd, then the Velvet Room is an excellent nightclub option. The decor is both opulent and understated - stone walls with lashings of dark red velvet, artfully lit antique lamps and chandeliers, gilded mirrors wherever you turn, and lots of little nooks to snuggle into with your friends, or partner. The music is a fun mix of the best of the 1980s and 1990s - a DJ spins all the favorites on Friday and Saturday nights. The drinks list is a little on the pricey side. The Velvet Room also has regular dinner theater events, by Ottawa's Scarlett dinner theater group.
Ritual is one of those better places around town where music and live gigs happen to be the order of the day. Hustling and bustling with activities all round the year, Ritual is known for its excellent taste in music and for the unpretentious air that it carries off with panache. A place for budding talent and experienced seasoned artists, as the name suggests, music here has become more of a cult and a ritual. So, for those who go all gaga over music, Ritual is where you should come knocking to.
Babylon Nightclub in Ottawa is one of the hottest venues where there is live music playing all the time. The shows held here are fresh, energizing and original. Babylon nightclub has been host to a wide assortment of bands from Punk to Hip Hop to Rock and even Djs. To add to this, the crowd that flocks this place is quite upbeat and classy. Though it has a limited seating capacity, the dance floor is just perfect to shake a leg while the DJ spins your favorite track. Right from small, local bands to famous, flourished bands perform at this venue.
Touted to be one of the most popular live music bars and concerts venue in the city, Barrymore's has played host to both local talent and established Canadian and international acts. Housed in a converted theater, this venue has seen a number of changes in ownership ever since its establishment in 1978. Today a nightclub, the Sunday retro nights are especially popular among the 20-something crowd. The Aloha Room Tiki Bar, a small, surf-themed bar is located in the same property.