Toronto, February 29, 2012 – It took about a year to turn the old Slavic Pentecostal Church on the northeast corner of Queen West and Dovercourt into the stylish new venue that is Church Aperitivo Bar. Owners Sandra Cassaro and David Beddia transformed the 2,500 square-foot church into a 95-seat restaurant and bar combining approachable Italian cuisine with an extensive cocktail menu in a contemporary atmosphere.
“We wanted to bring Italian culture and emotion to Queen Street West,” says Cassaro, who we’ve known personally through the event promotion and her work in the film industry. “As the neighbourhood rapidly evolves, we wanted to offer a polished yet inviting space to cater to the demand.” Get to Church between 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM and enjoy complimentary appetizers designed by Chef Fabio Sacca with the purchase of any beverage. Menu choices include veal and pork meatballs, polenta poutine, fried eggplant, braised octopus (see the full menu here).
If you’re going to call your venue an Aperitivo Bar then clearly cocktails are a priority. Themed drinks include the Holy Caesar - Clamato & Vodka served with dill pickle juice, muddled pepperoncino and a basil garnish or the Salvation - a Gin-based cocktail with Campari, muddled cucumber and a splash of soda (full list of cocktails here).
Design of the venue is clean and minimalist using a neutral black and white palette allowing for existing structural elements to shine. “The original church interior was a functional and honest space with a minimal amount of trimming; we wanted to respect the bones of the building. The skeletal elements, such as the beautiful wood ceiling joints and the brickwork were exposed and left natural,” explains designer Guido Costantino of Guido Constantino Design Office Inc. His company has also designed King West’s Buca and Kensington Market’s Cafe Pamenar.
Guests enter off Queen St. West through a dark tunnel, which opens up to reveal an organic incision in its soaring ceiling. The bar anchors to the eastern wall while the dining space flanks the opposite side. The original church aisle cuts through the two spaces, leading up to the raised altar which now houses an open kitchen. – www.churchaperitivo.com
Event Photos: Spiro Mandylor, Olympus Digital Photography