In its heyday, the Elmo as its colloquially known, brought some major music names to the 464-466 Spadina Avenue location including The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Monroe, U2, Elvis Costello, The Ramones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Blondie, Meat Loaf, Jimi Hendrix, Queens of the Stone Age, and countless others.
Grosso and Petrucci plan to restore the venue to what they described as “its glorious past as one of Toronto’s best live music venues.” They plan to renovate both the upstairs room, which can accommodate some 350 people, and the main floor venue, which has room for more than 200.
They also plan, in the immediate future, to renovate the unmistakable palm tree sign that overhangs the front entrance. “The changes to the physical structure, both upstairs and down, will have to be done little by little over the next year,” says Grosso. “There is much work to be done to restore the Elmo to what it was. The stage upstairs will be returned to the north wall, where it used to be, and the sound system upgraded.
“We’re aware that the music scene in Toronto has changed dramatically in the last decade. There are new venues, new kinds of popular music,” continues Grosso. “We want to bring back a venue that will accommodate all kinds of music, and once again be a mecca — under the palm tree sign — for the very best. It will take time and a lot of work to bring the Elmo back, but we’re starting now…”