Two new dining experiences are en route to the city’s hungry masses: First, Weslodge – a saloon style resto/bar with a kickass attitude and dishes to match – opens today, and Patria – the permanent home of that Spanish pop-up restaurant Nicki and I had the pleasure noshing at a couple months ago – opening in August.
What’s the immediate draw? They’re a collabo between restaurateur Hanif Harji (you know, the fellow with the Midas Touch who had his golden hands in the creation of Kultura, Colborne Lane, Blowfish, and Storys, to name just a few) and Charles Khabouth, the godfather of Toronto’s nightlife culture who, since the 80s, has shaped the city’s entertainment scene.
Both venues, located at ground level of the condo complex at 471 King West (right by Spadina), have, to say the least, a bit of a rep to live up to. Hanif Harji is famed for being a tastemaker, and evolving the expectations of must-be-seeners and deep-pocket diners alike. As for Khabouth, you might (just might) have heard of any number of his ventures via his company INK! Like, oh I don’t know, AME, Briscola (both of which are now closed), the Guvernment Complex, Bisha Condos, et cetera to the et cetera.
Weslodge, slated to open officially this evening, is a modern-day saloon. Billed as “[serving] up modern saloon fare made with seasonal Ontario ingredients,” the kitchen – helmed by Chef Stuart Cameron who will be pulling double duty overseeing both restos – will pump out carnivorous delights. Mixologist Elan Marks will shake, stir, and strain expertly-crafted cocktails, and I assume they’ll be of the throwback traditional style with tons of brown liquor in the mix. (Here’s hoping!)
Patria – which they’re saying they’ll cut ribbon for sometime in August – I’m a tad tight-pants’d over. When Nicki and I went to the Experiencia de Tapas Autenticos (say that five times fast, I dare ya) pop-up at Storys, we had an amazing meal surrounded by one hell of a vibe. Needless to say, I can’t wait to stuff my face with a bit more of that imported Iberico ham. Like butter it is!
Take a peek here at the preview of Patria, and we’ll likely be heading over to Weslodge in the next week or so to bring you a li’l vloggity vlog of that spot, too.