This is probably one of the best chillout spots in Edmonton, Alberta if you like hiphop/house/jungle. The only issue I have with it is that the dancefloor is basically non-existent, which makes it hard for me to get my girlfriend to come along. However, it does have the advantage of amazingly well mixed drinks (albeit slightly pricey, but hey), good food, friendly staff, and of course, dope music.
Here is the weekly schedule for those looking for a specific style, although personally I believe you can’t really be disappointed with any day.
Monday: “Sense” with Erin Eden & Whisper, who spin the deeper side of downtempo ambient house, techtrance, and jungle.
Wednesday: “The Forum” with Robert Alan and DJ Calus, who spin deep/progressive house, and intelligent drum and bass.
Friday: “Episode Fridays” presented by everyone’s favourite clothing company, FDCO, with Simon Locke and Tripswitch, spinning house.
Saturday: “Flava” with what made the Backroom famous, hiphop.
Situated right on Whyte Ave. and 103rd Street, the only annoying part about the Backroom is finding it. Here’s a hint. Walk along Whyte on the northern side, past The Roxy, past Chapters, past Feroshus, and keep on walking. When you see the Elephant and Castle, then you know you’re getting close. Look beside the Elephant and Castle, and you’ll see this door which appears to lead to nowhere. Walk in, turn right, and go up the wooden stairs. In about 14 seconds you’ll be in the best lounging spot I know of. A great place to just sit and relax with your friends, it lacks most of the drunken redneck attitude that permeates most cheesy night-spots in Edmonton like the craptacular Cowboys and Nashville’s. If you see anyone wearing a cowboy hat, you’re in the wrong place. Arrive at 10:30 or later if you want to be there during the busy hours, it’s pretty dead before then.
Best drink to get? Toss your manly man convictions that the only good drink is beer out the window here, and you’re bound to enjoy yourself more. It is a vodka bar after all. The most unique drink here has to be the frozen shot of Smirnoff (take that, Smirnoff Ice), but my personal favourite has to be the Banana Split. Tastes oddly like the name, but with the added kick of being effectively 40% alcohol. There’s another good one called the Perstroika (or something to that effect) that is a quite good raspberry vodka lowball. The food is good too, although it isn’t really the focus of the place.
The Backroom is best used as a place to chill at the end of the night, or as somewhere to go when everyone really doesn’t feel like muscling their way through crowds of drunken idiots. Call 1-780-436-4418 for more information, 10324-82 Ave. (upstairs).