The Entertainment District’s newest bar Coffee, Oysters, Champagne (COC) is not all that it seems to be to the naked eye. On first glance, the King Street locale showcases local coffee, an oyster bar and the most extensive bubbly list in the city — a combination never before seen in The 6ix. It’s when you look a little closer that the real purpose of the cafe is revealed.
COC offers a selection of specialty hot and iced coffee perfect for your morning commute. They use a Colombian blend roasted in Pickering exclusively for COC. They also have a delicious selection of local baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Aside from coffee, COC also offers a selection of oysters that are changed daily — the perfect pair with one of their bubbly options. With over 60 options to choose from, you’ll definitely find one you like!
The Hidden Bar
As if that wasn’t enough, interestingly enough it’s just a front! Hidden behind the lavishly gorgeous display of bubbly, is a secret entrance to a hidden bar out back named, A toi (french for “yours”). We don’t want to ruin the surprise factor because we want you to see it for yourselves! It literally looks like something out of the scene of a movie. Tastefully done, with a fun experiential feel to it, but perfectly executed. From the staffs wardrobe, to the decor, music, and menu, it feels as if you have been transported into a whole other era — or into a speakeasy in NYC or LA for that matter. Although they aren’t calling it one.
A toi has been designed to look like a 1920s Parisian hotel lobby bar. Yes, somewhat speakeasy like, but in my opinion, elevated. Unlike many other similar establishments I’ve frequented around the world, I was very impressed with their food and drink menu too — which sometimes seem to lack lustre.
Luckily, we got to sit down with the executive chef behind the menu, Chris Wilkinson, previously at the Broadview hotel. Who says the inspiration behind the menu — which boasts everything from wings, fries, steak & bones (bone marrow), sous vide octopus, and more — was his travels through parts of Europe. He wanted to put together a menu that was an elevated spin on classic pub eats, and more — without the extensive markups. Which I would add, is very well priced. For the atmosphere they’re providing, quality of the food, beverages and service, I was totally expecting a much bigger price tag.
But I know what you’re thinking, who else is behind it all. Surprisingly not any of the common restaurateurs we’ve been seeing blowing up the industry. It’s restaurateur, Steven Daicos, the man behind the Olive Press of Oakville and Door 55 in Port Credit, and tech entrepreneur, Sanjay Singal, founder of Audiobooks.com, Canadian partner of 500 Startups Canada, and investor in Wisk Bar Inventory platform, which they use in house as well.
As for the vibe, it’s ranked high up there in our books. The music is great, and really fits the look and feel, but late night they have a DJ that takes over to take things up a notch. There’s definitely a mixed crowd, but in a good way.
Some words of wisdom, dress to impress, bring an imitate group, or you’ll be waiting quite a while to get in (unless you somehow are able to swing a pre-booked private dining room). Besides, it seems like a great place to set down by the bar and mix and mingle too. Don’t be so blunt about it at the door or the host will pretend she doesn’t know what you’re looking for, be discreet. As for the eats without giving away too much, make sure to give their Popcorn Sweet Breads a try. To drink, I highly recommend their Punch Provincial — and if you feel like being bougie, go for the champagne upgrade and have them top it up with some Moet & Chandon champagne.
We’ll be bringing you our full review once they formally open up to the public next week — we don’t want to ruin the surprise. For now that is. 😉
Hope to see you there. Cheers!
Ps. All the photos in the post were taken under extremely low light on Huawei Mobile’s new Mate20 Pro. The camera quality and wide angle lens capabilities is insane! 😍 #TeamHuawei
214 King St. W., Toronto, ON