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EAST THIRTY-SIX 36 Wellington East, 647-350-3636, eastthirtysix.com
It used to be that certain neighbourhoods were designated hubs for nightlife (remember the Entertainment District?), but that tired structure has been steadily cracking.
It's far less about the party now than it is about the enjoyment of quality drink and good food to go with it, which explains the demise of super-clubs. (The announcement of the Guvernment's closure seems to be one of the final nails in club culture's coffin.)
The people have spoken: we want love put into our drinks, and the option of all-night nibbles. Most new bars are wisely taking heed.
East Thirty Six opened two months ago in the space formerly occupied by Lucien, on the same cozy strip of Wellington East as Pravda and the old-school Reservoir Lounge.
Owners Stanley Bernard and Julien Salomone, who met while working at uptown fine dining institution Auberge du Pommier, flipped the aesthetic while keeping the space relatively unaltered. The vibe is that of a nuevo 1920s cocktail joint with a sprinkling of old-school Hollywood glamour. Thankfully, there's no hint of "speakeasy."
The focal point is the backlit bar, a beautiful array of bottles and decanters full of house infusions.
Cocktails like the Flapper (wild strawberry liqueur, strawberry coulis, cava, $13) and the Bon Vivant (bourbon, lemon juice, agave nectar, grapefruit zest, $12) are thematically named.
The house barrel-aged Boulevardier (bourbon, Aperol, Lillet Rouge, smoke tincture, $14) is soft and smokey, and the Rum Row (house spiced rum, apricot liqueur, lemon juice, ginger syrup, tonic float, candied ginger, $13) is crazy tasty.
Brent Maxwell's Euro-influenced small plates include razor clams with citrus, mint and fennel, octopus with smoked potato, and other Mediterranean-influenced fare. You should probably start planning your next night out in St. Lawrence.
Open 4 pm to 2 am nightly
Access One step at door, washrooms up two steps