Is it on, or is it off? That’s the question we were pondering when we walked up the staircase to the about-to-open Switch, the latest spot to feel the Midas Touch of Hanif Harji. Found just east of Yonge Street in the digs that housed The Bowery (for a short run) and Osteria 55 (for an even shorter run), can this seemingly doomed address survive beyond the one year mark…?
If Hanif has anything to do with it, our best guess is yes. Seriously, this dude can do almost no wrong when it comes to opening progressive establishments in the city. (Currently, Hanif has his hands in such hotspots as Patria, Weslodge, Stories, and F-Stop.) And Switch will likely be no exception.
Part nightclub, part lounge, and part gentleman’s wreckroom, Switch certainly is a tour-de-force. The upstairs has been refreshed with Toronto-friendly industrious touches – distressed walls (faded mural and all), workshop lighting, aged-looking leather on the banquettes – and New Yorkian artwork – a gold-hued fire-breather behind the bar, a multi-coloured neon abstract on black towards the back of the east room.
Downstairs, you’ll find a chic wreckroom, replete with vintage video games, jerseys, and vintage sportswear. It’s also the one spot you’ll sneak a peek into the kitchen area. (Carte blanche: We didn’t sample any of the hors d’oeuvres during our short pop by, suffice it to say we doubt anything sub-par will grace palates once Switch officially opens.)
The new outpost of Hanif’s empire invites the public to the party on May 2nd. With Bruce Woods’ new restaurant opening just a few doors down, it’s safe to assume the King West crowd will migrate across Yonge Street with the promise of great food and a great scene.
So… is it on, or is it off? Only time will tell, but our guess is an electric current’s brewing…
Switch Toronto | 55 Colborne Street