Despite being one of the busiest guys in all of Toronto, Ryan Fisher is one of the most fun-loving and hilarious fellas you’ll ever meet. Maybe that’s because he’s found the perfect way to mix business with pleasure. As the co-owner of Distrikt 461 (SPiN Toronto, 2nd Floor Events, Desmond & Beatrice Bakeshop), his many hats make for a full schedule, but one that includes daily rounds of ping pong. Does it get any cooler than that? We caught up with Fisher to find out more…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
Hmm… I am South African-born with a passion for design and remaining youthful. If you’re creative, I want to soak in your spirit, even though that sounds gross. If I’m not working and you want to find me, I’ll be in the park.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
I tell people all the time that I’m sort of “always working, and never working” at the same time. I am what I do. That said, I’m always thinking about work, mostly in a creative way. Even if I’m at a party, I’m thinking, “How can we do something like this?!” It’s a challenge to always be pushing yourself to be better, to give better service, to create a better environment for your guests. But it’s a self-imposed challenge, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Simply put, a huge reward is working with great people and being inspired by them and their talents. I also get to work with my Dad, sister, and my best friend. Honestly, the people in our organization make it all happen. Another reward is getting to meet really creative, talented people in the city and getting excited about all the ideas that come from conversations with them.
The challenge is always in the execution. But the bottom line is that both the challenges and rewards are really something to embrace!
What are three things you can’t live without?
Aside from the people in my life, I couldn’t live without being sad about all of my favourite sports teams. I have no idea how I would handle any of them being good. I also couldn’t live without playing sports – tennis, hockey… and of course, ping pong! It’s the best. Oh, and kale. As they say, ‘”Kale is kool.”
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s bursting with promise. People bring everything to a city, and the people here are so diverse, so creative. I actually wish that we were more free to be creative and inventive, and less limited by the conservative minds in government, especially in the art world or hospitality. There are really great people here, doing great things. I’m proud to look around at the young generation of creative people in Toronto, and I’m honoured to engage with them.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
It’s not a “restaurant” per se, but 416 Snack Bar is where I feel most at home every time I’m there. The staff is great; they truly love their home, and that’s what it’s about. The energy in the space is always good. I’m honestly not a foodie, but their food is also tremendous. If someone visits me from out of town, that’s where I’m taking them. If I can get in…
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands?
I wear mostly second-hand stuff. I shop mostly at House of Vintage on Queen St. West as they always have cool gear from leather and denim jackets to vintage sports sweaters (one of my addictions), to stuff they take in and modify. Brand-wise I wear Naked and Famous jeans, and for anything “nicer” I usually go to GOTSTYLE. They always help me look good, no matter how disheveled I look going in.
What products are always in your grooming bag?
Fresh razor blades and Nivea shaving balm. Losing your hair isn’t fun… and it quickly becomes grooming issue No. 1!
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
As mentioned, I love old sports sweaters. I have a thing for buying items from teams that no longer exist. I wear the stuff kind of ironically, but it’s always funny to make eye contact with a guy and right away he’ll say, “Man! Are you a fan of the old L.A. Rams?” And I always kind of say, “Nah, sorry buddy, I know you want to connect on that level – I just like teams that don’t exist anymore!” That, and old leather jackets. I feel like they just have lots of stories. And shoes. Can’t get enough interesting casual kicks.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
Websites: DesmondandBeatrice.com, 2ndFloorEvents.com and Toronto.SPiNGalactic.com; Twitter (@ryfisher11; @spin_toronto; @2ndfloorevents); Instagram (@africanfish; @spintoronto; @2ndfloorevents).