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THE COCKTAIL PARLOR AT STORYS 11 Duncan, 416-367-5151, storysbuilding.com
Located on the second floor of the 170-year-old Storys building, the newly opened Cocktail Parlor is destined to set the scene for many a glitzy affair this TIFF.
The latest joint venture of powerhouses Charles Khabouth (Ink Entertainment) and Hanif Harji (Icon Legacy Hospitality), who already have King West destinations Weslodge and Patria under their designer belts, the Cocktail Parlor at Storys channels the building's era of origin in a wondrous den of anachronisms united in one stunning space.
Exposed brick and delicate mouldings merge elegantly with mechanical metal structures, plush charcoal leather banquettes and gold accents. Who wouldn't want to sip classy cocktails out of vintage crystal in a steampunk salon tickled by nouveau opulence and old-school glamour?
The sprawling drinks list - a whimsical narrative of 66 libations, categorized by spirit - is ingeniously designed as a 1920s periodical, complete with original artwork, faux adverts and boozy aphorisms from famous drinkers like Bukowski, Fitzgerald and Sinatra.
The cocktail program, brainstormed by bar managers Elan Marks and Weslodge's Wes Galloway, features cocktails on tap, an absinthe drip and a well of bitters, plus countless homemade tinctures, syrups, infusions and liqueurs, from roasted blueberry vodka to tobacco tincture.
"It's very big and very ambitious," says Galloway of the cocktail program.
"If you're going to go overboard, you need to back it up with a great experience."
If you're lusting for a unique kind of luxury to bring summer to a close, Cocktail Parlor's the spot. You won't find any half-assing here.
Check out: A daily happy hour from 5 to 8 pm, with special cocktails and snacks by executive chef Stuart Cameron.
Hours: Wednesday to Friday 5 pm until late, Saturday 7 pm until late (for now - soon to change)
This spiced whisky concoction, a favourite of bartenders Wes Galloway and Chanel Wood, is an adaptation of an old-fashioned. Price: $16
2 oz Maker's Mark bourbon ½ oz Edmond Briottet Crème de Banane 6 drops cinnamon tincture 4 drops clove tincture 5 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir and strain into an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a dehydrated spiced banana chip.