Take a look inside the newly renovated Amber, Toufik Sarwa’s Yorkville mainstay
For almost 12 years, Yorkville’s Amber has been the place to see and be seen. Having just finished turning his Cinq 01 into the new Briscola Trattoria at the end of February, it seems owner Toufik Sarwa has reno fever—he’s just completed another major renovation at Amber. We checked in with Sarwa to get the dish on the new digs.
Behind the remodelling is designer Montana Burnett, a former editor at Canadian House and Home and a long-time patron of Amber. Throughout the years, she’s seen Amber progress from minimalist to Moroccan inspired to Miami South Beach. “This fourth and final incarnation is the most mature Amber has ever been,” Sarwa says. By bringing an outdoorsy, beachy theme inside, the bar and lounge has been transformed from a dark, subterranean hideout into a space reminiscent of old Hollywood or 1950s Havana.
Caramel-toned banquettes, white lattice accents, turquoise art deco trims, banana leaf prints, large bamboo lounging chairs, retro lighting sconces and a bright new bar made of Calcutta marble create a warmer space than the previously all white, almost sterile lounge. Toronto artist Matt McNaught was hired to create the new, edgy, green graffiti mural at the entrance.
The new menu will no longer offer sit-down dining options or entrées. Instead, it will feature smaller tapas-style plates (from $18), like tuna or beef carpaccio and vegetable crudités, designed for sharing over cocktails and drinks. New, Havana-inspired cocktails (from $14) will include creative twists on the classic mojito, margarita and sangria.
Just in time for patio season, the deck behind Amber will also be getting the full makeover treatment. Slated to open by the end of April, it will feature a fresher Mediterranean beach-side feel replacing the old black and white scheme.
Amber, 119 Yorkville Ave., 416-926-9037, amberinyorkville.com .