Pillow Talk: Many Goodhandy and Todd Klinck
When the words 'sex' and 'party' are thrown together in Toronto, one venue comes to mind immediately. The dynamic duo of Mandy Goodhandy and Todd Klinck have established their hotspot Goodhandy's as the place to go to find a good time—of almost any kind. In thoroughly embracing the concept of a "pansexual playground," Goodhandy's hosts a wide variety of club nights for a wide variety of clientele. Some of the popular events that call Goodhandy's home are T-Girls Go Wild, Sodom, Dirty Sexy Party and Queer Idol. The 2005 Supreme Court indecency ruling, which came shortly before Todd and Mandy opened the club, has very much paved the way to making Goodhandy's such a success. By establishing a safe space for people to cruise and have then have a private sexual encounter in the Diamond Rooms, Goodhandy's has provided a unique enviroment.
Sexlife Canada caught up with Todd and Mandy to chat about the unique Oasis that is Goodhandy's.
SLC: How did you get into the bar business?
Todd: The first summer of University I realized I would rather stay in Toronto than go home to do landscaping in Windsor. I worked night shifts at 7 West Cafe for a couple years, then moved to the latin gay nightclub scene - first at the short-lived Tacones, and then at the legendary El Convento Rico club. While at Rico, I started getting more responsibilities and learning from the owner Maritza who is one of my business mentors. I was her transition manager for two of her other bar ventures, but I always returned to Rico. After meeting Mandy and working with her in club promotions and other things, we decided to open a bar of our own—Goodhandy’s.
Mandy: I found being in the bar business more profitable than supporting a bar’s business. It incorporates everything I enjoy: Alcohol, Comedy, Music, Theatrics and my most favourite passtime which is observing human behavior.
SLC: What are your favourite parts of bar biz? Least favourite?
Todd: I like being in charge of my own destiny and my own life. I can’t imagine working for other people. I like being surrounded by so many wild and interesting characters all the time. I can’t really say that there is much that bothers me about the business. I am a work-a-holic and love what I do. I could see running a bar (or bars) for several more decades.
Mandy: Most favourite has to be watching people having a good time. My least favourite is people throwing up on my shoe.
SLC: Are there any particular things you'd like to do with Goodhandys, but haven't yet?
Todd: Mandy and I both are the type of people who like to keep pouring any money we make right back into the business. We struggle, to be honest, so there are limitations. So to answer the question—I would like to drastically improve the interior of the club, keep adding better lighting, better sound, new furniture, renovate the bathrooms, make the space more modular and flexible. Those are all things I’d love to do but we cannot afford yet. We also keep getting discriminated against by groups because we are not wheelchair accessible. Initial research we’ve done shows that the costs would be astronomical because of the multi-layer nature of the club. But that would be a dream if we could one day accomplish that.
SLC: Any experiences you don't want to repeat?
Todd: Every day is a learning experience. We’ve had a couple bad experiences with staff stealing from me in the earlier days. That is something that can be personally devastating. I don’t like people to lie to us, or to steal from us. We are very trusting people. So I’d like to avoid that ever happening again.
Mandy: Everything Todd said. But would like to add, be more particular about the promoters we bring in to our club. Just because someone has a mailing list and lots of friends on Facebook, does not make them promoters. Our best promoters so far are the ones whose events have lasted the longest in our club. Sometimes it is not that the promoter is bad. It may be that their concept or crowd may not fit well with our club.
SLC: Are you completely done making porn at Goodhandys? Are you still distributing older titles?
Todd: Never say never, but making porn is not in our current calendar of events. We definitely are still distributing older titles. We were so busy concentrating on running a club that we didn’t even get everything released yet - we still have content that has never been seen! We are concentrating on another online project right now which we hope to share with your readers in a future article.
SLC: What is the best thing a fan has ever sent you or told you?
Todd: So many sexually diverse people have come up to me and said “Thanks for being involved in the creation of a space where people can be themselves, be free, be comfortable, no matter what their gender or orientation or kink or sexual expression.” That makes me happy every time.
Mandy: “I feel so safe here. It is great to find a space where I can be myself, and not be judged”.
SLC: What makes Goodhandy's unique in the Toronto/Canadian bar scene?
Todd: We are two unique individuals with two unique perspectives and we are leaders, not followers. I give Mandy most of the credit for this, she is the grand visionary behind the company, I am the implementer. I of course have input, and we balance each other out, but I attribute the uniqueness of Goodhandy’s to Mandy’s visionary personality.
Mandy: The uniqueness of our bar reflects the lack of ego, the amount of tireless work and the vast patience regarding people that Todd has. We are not doing our communities a favor by being open, they are doing us a great favour by keeping us open. The relationship between the club, it’s owners and the clientelle, are what make a club unique.
SLC: What is coming in the future for Goodhandy's?
Mandy: You will see my dear.
SLC: What are your hobbies/interests outside of the bar?
Todd: I am pretty much a total work-a-holic. So not much. I am big-time into fitness right now, I have been working with a personal trainer 4 times a week and that is a majorly important part of my life. And I got an iPhone4 in December, that provides me with hours of YouTube entertainment—been digging up all of Joan Rivers’ stand up routines and a big fan of Alex Jones conspiracy documentaries.
Mandy: Our club and our online business are my hobbies and interests. Other than that, watching DVDs and eating bon bons.