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Zappas Lounge

Zappas Lounge is permanently closed. Looking for a place that’s still open? Check out our restaurant reviews and recommendations for establishments that are still open and serving great food in Kingston.

Joy Supper Club closed maybe 9 months ago. I never really liked it. The main problem it had was theme nights. For example: on a Friday night, they would sometimes play Salsa music the entire night. I am all about diversity in club music and I often get tired of Top 40 but come on! Also, I’d heard of some shady cocaine-esque dealings at the bar…

When I saw work being done to construct the new Zappas Lounge where Joy used to be, I was intrigued. How would they escape the fate of Joy? My initial impression was not good. They were again trying to do the fine dining / patio / night club thing. It is so hard to do both dining and clubbing in the same place. I haven’t really seen too many places that do it well. This venue is simply too large! When you go to a night club, you generally want it to be somewhat crowded. With such a huge space, Zappas would have to be really packed to make it not feel dead on a Friday night.

I decided to check out the food.
Zappas Lounge, 178 Ontario St
This is the Para Dos (chicken satay, striploin, shrimp, calamari, smoked salmon, hummus, and vegetable medley) for $32. They had a fairly full tapas menu so we decided to try a platter to sample more of the items. The phrase vegetable medley is pretty hilarious. It reminds me of a frozen dinner. The chicken satay was pretty dry and had a bland peanut sauce. The striploin was a piece of beef that was seared with limited flavour. It was also pretty cold. The calamari was really awful. Gummy, slimy, and with no flavour other than salt. The smoked salmon was a bit oily and limited in quantity. The hummus was probably the best part of this dish. The presentation looked like a couple of high school students threw food onto a plate to serve mom for dinner on her birthday.
Zappas Lounge, 178 Ontario St
This is the Mediterranean Club Pizza (grilled chicken, tomato, bacon, peppers, olives, onion) for $11. The price was right but the chicken was pretty tasteless. But what bugged me the most was the dough. Soggy, sloppy and too crispy on the edges. I am pretty sure I’ve made pizza like this at home.

Overall, not a great dining experience. I won’t be heading back for food. That being said, the patio they have there is quite spacious and is often quite full. This has had a marked effect on the business at Woodenheads patio. This is a good thing. Now I can get in at Woodenheads without waiting. I’d only recommend coming to Zappas for a drink on the patio. I’d steer clear of the food.

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6 thoughts on “Zappas Lounge

  • August 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm
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    Ew! That platter looks absolutely gross! I'm amazed you even tried it. The things we do for our blog…good on ya. Here's to more room at Woodenhead's!!

  • August 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm
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    Can't see it lasting, since as you said, they are trying something that has failed before. The only place that seems able to pull off the restaurant into nightclub routine is the Grizzly Grill, and that's more down to location than anything else. Zappas would do better to stay a restaurant/lounge, perhaps acting as a live music venue at times – jazz, blues,etc.

    That being said, I hope they find what works and it lasts, it's good to see that area of the downtown all open and in business (ignoring the cursed location at the corner – Mexicali Rosa's).

  • October 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm
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    wow pizza is burnt on the crust on one HALF side of the pizza with 2 slices of pizza proper browned cheese, the rest looks undercooked. very unappealing. who the hell would pass this out of the kitchen?!?!

  • October 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm
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    I suggest going there again.. I've been recently and everything seems to have been pulled together. I had their Verdure pizza, and it was fantastic! Their wine list is great too… why not give it a try for yourselves!

  • May 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm
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    I've been there recently as well, and the kitchen seems to be on the ball. The food was delicious. I went with a few friends to see some live music on Friday afternoon and we split a bunch of tapas. The steak tapa, calamari, and mussels were phenominal. I'll definitely go again!

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