What’s on the menu at Paris Texas, a massive country-western nightclub, restaurant and sports bar on King West
Mechanical bull not included
Name: Paris Texas
Contact: 461 King St. W., paristexas.ca, @paristexasparistexas
Neighbourhood: King West
Owners: Gurpreet Kailley; Jason Bitton, Rahul Raina and Adam Szabo (Municipal Goods); Nick Di Donato and Luca Di Donato (Liberty Entertainment Group)
Chef: Eric Phung (Walrus Pub and Beer Hall)
Accessibility: Not fully accessible
Gurpreet Kailey and Jason Bitton, part-owners and operators of Paris Texas—a strapping new country-western resto-club on the King West strip—met as business students at Western University. While in London, the two friends found their way into the entertainment scene, producing EDM and hip-hop festivals, promoting concerts, and curating parties that became so popular and profitable that they moved back to Toronto to see if they could make it in the big city.
Their first venture, Pizza Wine Disco (say “Donna Summer soppressata” five times fast!), opened last year for party people who were desperate to eat and dance en masse again. Also involved in PWD was Luca Di Donato, a fellow Mustang and the son of Liberty Entertainment Group’s head honcho, Nick Di Donato. Di Donato Sr. offered up the space that was housing Arcane, his struggling nightclub, for the young entrepreneurs to reinvent. They jumped on the project and gutted the whole building, reconceptualizing it as a little bit country and a whole lot of swagger. And, yes, DJs will keep things country.
Phung stays on brand, offering Hungry Man–style plates and portions, each with subtle refinements. House-made chips are served with creamy and fresh herb–infused onion dip; piles of chicken wings arrive at the table naked, zesty dipping sauces served alongside (no Wet-Nap required); and mammoth 22-ounce bone-in ribeye steaks are brushed with Parisian butter and served with truffle frites.
The drink menu centres signature cocktails by bar manager Michael Rausch, some of which are spins on classic concoctions. Case in point: the Cactus Jack, Rausch’s high-falutin’ spin on a classic margarita, is a balanced blend of lime juice, organic agave syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier and—the twist—fresh-squeezed prickly pear juice.
The mammoth dining room and bar is a modern—decidedly not corny—take on a saloon. The vibe hints at the style of the Wild West (think modern brass elements, leather banquettes, miniature cacti and big ol’ bars) rather than hitting the nail on the head (there’s nary a spur or sheriff’s star in sight). The sweeping front patio with a 20-foot-long marble bar offers a refreshing contrast to the autumnal colour palette indoors. Light-blue cushions are plumped up along gently bleached wood benches with rope detailing, in keeping with the country theme.