Introducing: Boutique Bar, Church Street’s new cocktail bar
For a year and a half, French competitive mixologist Julien Salomone and his wife, Haligonian Devon Salomone, combed the city for a quaint space to open their own cocktail bar. The search ended when they found Veda‘s old space on Church Street: right in the heart of the gay village and minutes away from their house. Boutique Bar‘s first reveal took place last month during Pride, but is now officially open for business, bringing the strip a new patio space and a gamut of deluxe cocktails.
With 12 years of mixology experience, the Toulon-born Salomone is a welcome figure to Toronto’s cocktail craze. Like many other haute cocktail spots, Boutique Bar uses house-made syrups and fresh juices, but sets itself apart when it comes to price points: most cocktails are around $8. “We wanted to make sure it was attainable for everyone and give a good product,” said Devon.
The pewter-coloured walls and dark decor have a winter feel to them, but the deck-like patio and fruity drinks are 100 per cent summer. The immensely popular watermelon martinis ($10) are made with fresh juice, cranberry gin and squeezed lemons. The Ginger ($8) is also a hit: vodka, lemon juice, Julien’s signature ginger and chili pepper syrup and ginger ale. Richer drinks include the cabane à sucre ($8)—a version of Julien’s signature combination of maple sugar, lime juice, ginger ale and rye—and the Belvedere truffle ($10), which mixes vodka, Frangelico, crème de cacao and Nutella cubes.
Despite only being open a few weeks, Boutique Bar can already claim a loyal clientele, with the after-work crowd packing the joint to take advantage of the happy hour (5 to 9 p.m.) special of two-ounce martinis for $6. “Everybody knows it now,” said Julien. “Most of our customers are already regulars.”
Boutique Bar, 506 Church St., M-Su 5-2 a.m., 647-705-0006.