Introducing: Rush Lane, a modernist snack bar and booze laboratory on Queen West
Name: Rush Lane
Contact Info: 563 Queen St. W., 416-551-7540, rushlaneto.com , facebook.com, @rushlaneco
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Previously: Hot Wings Grill and Rib House
Owners: Jordan Bushell, Alexis Arrowsmith, Simon Hooper, Doug Twigger and Brett Klyszejko
Chef: Chris Scott, the former chef de cuisine at Bero in Leslieville
The Drinks: Rush Lane is owned and operated by a pack of experienced bartenders, so it’s no surprise that the drinks list is pretty interesting. It consists of ten complex cocktails made with far-flung ingredients like “beet grenadine,” “hopped grapefruit bitters” and a type of seasoned vodka that’s been banned in the US since 1978. In the back of the room, a glass-walled laboratory is crammed with tech gadgets, including a rotary evaporator (for flavour-extraction), a centrifuge (for separating substances), a tissue tearer (a next-level hand blender) and a Clinebell ice machine, which can freeze a 300-pound block of clear ice in a day.
The Food: Pretzels, corn dogs and other humble comfort foods get the molecular treatment from former Bero chef Chris Scott, who has a background in modernist cuisine. For dessert, a sarsaparilla float is made with vanilla-flavoured frozen meringue instead of ice cream.
The Place: Unlike some of the city’s signless, nondescript watering holes, Rush Lane is hard to miss—the bar’s two-story facade is stenciled with a giant black-and-turquoise mural. The inside is outfitted with low banquettes and chesterfields, but the focus is the long, well-stocked bar, which is where most of the magic happens.