From the March 13, 2009 edition of Toronto Life’s daily dish.

Shops with multiple identities: Creative trend or a sign of the (bad) times?

Nothing is more Torontonian than the ability to multitask. The daily toggle between BlackBerry and iPhone is de rigueur, as is the commute-telecon- ference-breakfast. So entrenched is this poly-purpose tendency that it is emerging as a new trend in the city’s eating and drinking culture. Multi-concept spaces—bars that are also boutiques, cafés that double as galleries and triple as schools—are on the rise. Hogtown boasts an embarrassment of retail riches, which means that shoppers can afford to be choosy—even lazy. “You have to offer more these days,” explains local goldsmith Elena Ginsberg. “People want quality, and they also want to be entertained.” That’s why she’s applying the café-boutique concept to modish bar Unit, which will offer coffee and her Kvell designs, as well as full bar service at night. Starting in late April, Queen West crawlers who stumble in after dark will find that metalworks are on sale until close, and maybe discover that it is dangerous (and fun) to shop for jewellery after a couple of cocktails.

In addition to sheer innovation—Ginsberg notes that “adapting is key”—economics makes the trend timely. “Why pay two rents?” asks Ginsberg, whose set-up puts three businesses under one roof.

To access the entire article, click here: http://www.torontolife.com/daily/tag/fuzion/

1198 Queen Street West @ Gladstone Avenue
(just two doors east of the Gladstone Hotel)

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Wednesday                        5:00 pm to last call
Thursday                            5:00 pm to last call
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