50 Reasons to Love Toronto: No.30, There’s a hidden watering hole called Goodnight in an alley at Richmond and Spadina

50 Reasons to Love Toronto: No.30, There’s a hidden watering hole called Goodnight in an alley at Richmond and Spadina

No.30 There’s a party behind this door
(Image: Lisa Gent) 

The first rule of Goodnight is: don’t talk about Goodnight. The hidden watering hole, located behind a buzzer-access metal door at the end of a dark, graffiti-covered alley at Richmond and Spadina, opened last September, just in time to be Harvey Weinstein’s unofficial TIFF clubhouse. To a certain nightlife species—people who experience a frisson entering a bar with a strict reservations-only policy—Goodnight is proof that Toronto has arrived. The list of regulars includes erstwhile politicas like Belinda Stronach (who often stops in with her boyfriend, Harbord Room chef Corey Vitiello), indie darlings like Metric’s Emily Haines, and professional partiers like Ashleigh Dempster, the co-founder of social climbers’ club The Society (she’s also married to Matt George, one of Goodnight’s owners). Once you get past the door, it’s remarkably cool. Imagine a pub designed by Wallpaper magazine: the raw wood bar is supported by metal radiators; a wooden staircase leads nowhere; vintage posters of Communist leaders and sewing patterns line the walls. And a list of potent concoctions like the Fat Sailor (three types of rum and Tia Maria) and the Bunny Hug (equal parts Canadian Club, gin and absinthe) puts even the most aloof A-lister in a frisky, feel-good mood.