Staying in the city got a lot more fun this summer with the opening of three new places that give three more reasons to love Toronto in the warmer months. From a breezy Sunday afternoon spent with friends poolside, or after-work drinks on the city’s newest outdoor oasis with coworkers, to a late VIP-only party experience, Cabana Pool Bar, EFS and Muzik have upped the calibre of Toronto’s summertime entertainment scene this summer.
Just opened, EFS (or Everything’s for Sale) is the city’s newest outdoor upscale refuge and is already a quick hot spot for Toronto’s in-the-know young professional (YP) set. From the creators of Toronto YP nightlife staple Bloke and 4th, John Doe Group’s EFS takes over the space at 647 King St. W. In a city where patios have been historically sparse, it features a rooftop patio with capacity for up to 300 guests. Just what YPs needed, EFS offers a relaxing outdoor, post-work destination in the downtown core.
Designed by Lisa Ho of Yabu Pushelberg, the 3,000-square foot EFS second story outdoor terrace is filled with lush plants and cabana-style seating in crisp black and white, all neatly nestled within the Toronto skyline. Understanding the importance of the happy hour and Sunday Funday, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 5 and 10pm, as well as on Sundays from noon to 5pm, the EFS patio offers an exclusive food menu for guests created by the beloved Food Dudes. The menu features six signature grilled items served with two side dishes for $18 each and includes barbequed mains like Jerk Chicken, Bratwurst Sausage and a housemade Veggie Burger.
“The rooftop is designed to be as welcoming as possible, with a comfortable yet refined backyard garden vibe,” said Reza Abedi, co-founder, John Doe Group. “This makes it a comfortable local destination for young professionals at the end of a busy workday and we have designed the menu and cocktails specifically with the after-work crowd in mind.”
A sure draw for many young professionals we know, guests can also rent hookahs and choose from a variety of flavoured tobacco options. For the late-night crowd, the EFS rooftop patio will be open for drinks Wednesday through Saturday nights from 10pm until 3am.? Additionally, in August, EFS will open a main floor club for the city’s luxe-loving partygoers, which will keep the venue bustling into the colder months.
Muzik Beach and Bier Garden
This summer, mega nightclub Muzik has expanded further to create Muzik Beach, Muzik Bier Garden and Muzik Park. With its own entrance, the Bier Garden features a BBQ grill, $5 beers, ping-pong, a pool table and live music. The casual vibe now makes the venue attractive for those who aren’t ambitious club goers. The Bier Garden features a variety of beers on tap and ample seating and greenery, with a vibe of what Muzik President and Founder Zlatko calls “very Standard Hotel New York.” The outdoor natural stone patio offers seating for groups of two to 200 at hand-crafted wood tables. With a menu offered by the Food Dudes, the food is anything but your typical pub fare. To break up the workweek, Muzik Bier Garden hosts a keg party every Wednesday starting at 5pm – a great option to take friends from out of town.
Especially with the recent alcohol crackdowns in beloved Trinity Bellwoods Park, Muzik offers a new alternative with its newly created Muzik Park. Guests can pre-order picnic baskets for the ultimate outdoor dinner (or lunch) party or romantic picnic, along with bottles of champagne and pitchers of things like vodka lemonade. The park is lined with cute, gingham table cloth-clad picnic tables. Bring along a cards or and a Frisbee and make a day out of it.
If you want to take it up a notch, Muzik Beach, opened June 15, is like nothing else in the city, featuring white sands, sunbed suites and private cabanas in a party that Starkovski calls “very Live in Miami” (if you know, you know). Sunday nights are big at Muzik Beach, and Toronto native Drake kicked off the season with a bash after the MMVAs. It is also a destination for many visiting professional athletes. For the something-from-a-music-video experience, Muzik Beach features the VIP Veuve Cliquot Lounge, a swanky raised area with couches and beds, which will soon start to host themed events.
Cabana Pool Bar
Charles Khabouth’s newest spot has been all the talk of the city for months. Ink Entertainment has infused summer 2013 with a taste of the Miami and Las Vegas day pool parties we all love so much. Offering the ultimate “day party,” Cabana Pool Bar, the brand new 50,000-square-foot pool and bar at Polson Pier, offers the closet thing to a mini vacation the city has to offer. It features a restaurant and the same sort of fun amenities of the former “Docks” complex: volleyball courts, an indoor soccer stadium, driving range and a go-cart track. The sleek, white cabanas make for a memorable day spent with the girls or guys poolside and lakeside, with full bottle and shisha service at the tables. The kitchen is operated by Oliver and Bonacini and the establishment, appropriately, caters to the 25-plus crowd. With its stunning view of the skyline, Cabana Pool Bar makes a reliable no-brainer option to take people from out of town.
Real estate is hot; although the property features 850 seats in total, 12 cabanas, and 42 oversized pool loungers, we advise to reserve ahead or get there early, especially on those (rare) perfect weekend summer weather days. Cabana Pool Bar is open Tuesday-Thursday from 11:00am to 8pm and Friday through Sunday from 11:00am to 11:00pm. Cover is $10 every day but Sunday, when it is $20, with an additional $20 for pool access. Let’s just say that the experience won’t make for a cheap day, but it is worth it. After all, a few months from now, we may wish we took advantage of a warm day spent at the adult playground.
With EFS, Muzik and Cabana Pool Bar, those left in the city without cottage invites or other travel plans can have just as much fun (if not more) in Toronto this summer.
Cover Image: Cabana Pool Bar