paradise grapevine toronto

Toronto bar encourages people to bring food from other restaurants to their patio

You can now bring your own food to a patio that's recently reopened in Toronto, and they're recommending specific wine pairings for dishes on the menus of neighbouring restaurants.

Paradise Grapevine posted an encouraging call-out on Instagram asking people coming to the bar to bring in food from nearby restaurants and accompany it with their wines. 

They'd pair, for example, La Bella Managua's ceviche with something bubbly, a Tallboys burger with a syrah, Little Sito's dips and salads with an orange wine and the Lalibela veggie platter with a rosé.

The bar is normally known for serving thoughtful wines, beer and cider and pairing them with small snacks like chips. When Toronto allowed patios to open in the grey zone, Paradise Grapevine had less than 18 hours to prepare to open after being closed for more than four months.

As a result, they launched what they're calling PGV Lite. It's essentially a store with a licensed patio at the moment, so you buy beer, cider and wine by the bottle inside, and pay corkage fees of $3 and $25 respectively in addition to the ticket price if you want to drink it on the patio.

 Along with this stripped-down way of operating came the concept of allowing people to bring their own food, not only to make things easier but also to support neighbouring patio-less businesses.

"We're big fans of our sweet stretch of Bloor," owner David Everitt tells blogTO, "and we wanted to celebrate our neighbouring restaurants, especially those who don't have patios."

"We have amassed an amazing library of wines and being able to pair them with so many diverse food styles makes the possibility of fun combinations kinda endless," he says. "We love when guests tell us what they're eating for dinner and having the perfect bottle to cinch the whole meal together."

They've only been re-opened for about a week now, but have gotten rave responses to the idea.

"Honestly it's nice to just grab any bottle from the shelf and wander out back with a couple of glasses and an ice bucket," says Everitt.

"One day we'll move back to the original Paradise Grapevine experience, but for now this is fun and new, and allows us to run a wine bar in a way that works during such an uncertain time."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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