You won't find the Good Love bar unless you're looking for it.
The upscale Canton lounge established itself years ago as a trendy spot with quality drinks, earthy decor and friendly, snappy service. It once had some of the best DJs in the city and never needed to boast.
Instead of a sign out front, there's a small "G" shaped like a chair -- the bar's logo -- on the window. If you're driving down Boston Street, you'll probably pass right by it, unless you spot the bouncers outside.
But lately, Good Love has been gasping for air.
A little after 11 p.m. on a recent Saturday night, the three-story corner lounge was only a third full. The bartenders were on point, but the hip-hop DJ was nothing special. Neither was the crowd -- which only comfortably filled the first of three stories. It was a shame to see such a dark, beautiful space go unused.
My girlfriend, Amie, and I got there at about 10 p.m. The cover was $5 each, which is less than the $10 the nearby lounge Kamp charges, but still annoying. So many local places don't charge at the door. When you have to pay just for the privilege of going inside, that ups the ante. The club really has to deliver on its end. Good Love didn't quite live up to that.
Once inside, we sat at two of the large, heavy metal-and-leather chairs at the bar. A couple of large globe lights wrapped in brown fuzzy twine hung above the bar, and a few big, square, brown leather seats lined the opposite wall.
The bartender, a friendly guy named Lee, asked us what we wanted.
"Surprise me," I said.
Lee set a glass with ice on the bar, then he whirled and twirled, flipping bottles and putting on a show for us. The guy had some serious flair (which is what those fancy bar moves are called). Then he dumped in what looked like four shots of Stoli Blueberry and Triple Sec, added a dash of Sprite and a lemon wedge into one glass.
Lee called this concoction a blueberry lemonade. He said it was his take on another drink whose name I can't remember because, as previously noted, the blueberry lemonade had at least four shots of liquor in it. The drink was sweet at first sip but had a nice bite as well.
The total for two came to $17, which was more expensive than I'd expected. But considering how well-made they were, it was worth it.
The only problem I had with Good Love's interior: Neither the men's or women's bathroom was marked. There were just two doors, which made for some really awkward moments, especially when some guys forget to lock the bathroom doors.
Good Love recently moved its dance space to the front of the second floor, and made the third floor a VIP lounge. When we were there, only a handful of people were upstairs, and it was absolutely frigid up there. I liked the cash register from the turn of the century behind the upstairs bar, but we didn't stick around long enough to have a drink there. Our fingers would have gone numb if we'd stayed up there much longer.
We had a good time at Good Love, but I just couldn't get over the small crowd. Half the fun of going to a club/lounge like that is feeding off the energy of other people. I've heard that half-full on a Saturday night is a better-than-average sized crowd for that place. It's a shame, because the space deserves better.
The Good Love Bar is at 2322 Boston St. For more information, call 410-534-4588 or go to myspace.com/goodlovebar.