Introducing: BYOB, a Queen West shop for everything booze-related (except alcohol)

Introducing: BYOB, a Queen West shop for everything booze-related (except alcohol)

BYOB: Queen West’s new “cocktail emporium” (Image: Signe Langford) 

Boozehounds, start your livers. Queen West is now home to BYOB, a new shop that specializes in cocktail-related accoutrement of every imaginable variety. Owner Kristen Voisey told us, “I went to L.A. last year and came across a shop called Barkeeper. It was in a neighbourhood, Silver Lake, that is very similar to Queen West (Beck lives there). And I thought, I could do this in Toronto.”

And do it she did. This 1500-square-foot space, once occupied by the Casuccio photography gallery, is now home to one-of-a-kind cocktail shakers, Litemotiv wineglass chandeliers, vintage glassware, elegant chessmen wine stoppers, animal-head shot glasses and a coffee station featuring Bodum products for the morning after the night before. In the back there’s a kitchen and a cashier’s counter that was designed to double as a bar, so Voisey is planning for mixology classes to be held this summer. She also intends to expand her line to include artisanal simple syrups and bitters.

For years, Voisey has been quietly obsessing about mini bars and the cocktail culture of the ’60s and ’70s. “I just loved the aesthetic, and I was always drawing plans for mini bars—even refurbishing found furniture into cute little bars as kind of a hobby.” Now the hobby is her livelihood. “I have a manufacturer up in Brampton, and my first three designs are going to be in the shop in a couple of days.”

BYOB, 972 Queen St. W., 416.858.2932