Boutique Bar

Boutique Bar is a stylish Church and Wellesley cocktail bar with tasty drinks and a great patio area. Owner Julien Salomone brings a wealth of experience from France, the US and Toronto spots like Auberge du Pommier , ONE Restaurant and Nota Bene .

For those familiar with the area, you're probably thinking that a new cocktail lounge is the last thing it needs...but don`t underestimate the neighbourhood's demand for a good cocktail. Boutique has a diverse variety of cocktails, yeah, but it's the bartending that distinguishes it. Along with Salomone`s experience in the food and drink industry, he also studied mixology while growing up in France.

I try The Ginger; a mix of vodka, ginger syrup, chilli peppers, lemon juice and ginger ale, and the combination hits the spot. The menu includes a variety of original tequila, rum, vodka and gin mixes along with premium martinis, sangria and sparkling cocktails. This isn't strictly a cocktail joint though.

On the menu's back page is an extensive wine list, a small selection of bottled domestic and imported beers and Creemore pilsner and lager on tap. The drinks are moderately priced for a cocktail lounge of its kind ($8-12), but the value is in the flavour. There's also a small selection of finger food like a cheese plate and charcuterie board that are good for two.

Inside, the venue is chic, modern and set up with clean utility of a relatively small space. Tables against the back wall are lined with mirrors and candlelight, and a gigantic mirror stretches horizontally above the bar. The music, controlled by an in-house DJ, is an electronic mix of funk house, techno and new wave music. It's loud, but at a volume where you don`t need to repeat every other word to whoever you`re speaking to.

Another characteristic that differentiates Boutique is a front patio. This is where Veda's Indian restaurant used to be. It's spacious with a wraparound table surface and is a great area to talk, drink and smoke, or just watch Church Street's energy strutting down the sidewalks.

The crowd consists of stylish, mid 20s to early 30s professional men (and some women) who go for the gourmet cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere.

Boutique is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week with martini specials Monday to Wednesday. The busiest nights are weekends and Monday's industry crowd.

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