King West will welcome Baro to its dining ranks as the restaurant officially opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, December 7th. The four-storey brick and beam space boasts 4,000 square feet per floor and includes a dining room, raw bar lounge, private event space and a sprawling rooftop patio.
Baro might be new to King West but the Executive Chef behind the Latin cuisine has been gracing kitchens from Toronto all the way to Miami and Hong Kong for nearly three decades. Executive Chef Steve Gonzalez, known for his famous dishes at Valdez, will once again lead the kitchen in what promises to be one of Toronto’s hottest restaurants and nightspots.
The menu will feature signature dishes including Nekkei Ceviche, OG Duck Chaufa and an old Valdez favourite, Chorizio with Arepitas.
“As a Chef, I am always striving to break the barriers and elevate the experiences of food for all of my guests. At Baro, this is not only our goal but it is the very essence of every single dish I create,” Gonzalez says. “We promise to deliver a food experience that is fresh, seasonal, rich in Latin culture and always made from scratch.”
Baro will also delight its guests with an extensive and truly unmatched cocktail offering including its “Iron Tyrant” curated specifically for Baro with Roasted Cacao-infused Ron Diplomatico, Vanilla Gomme, Tincture of Saffron, Cherry Cedar Bitters, Tobacco Essence and Toasted Oak-infused Ice. The drink is designed to “age” as the ice melts delivering a true evolution of the cocktail experience.
Just as important as the food and cocktails is the atmosphere, where Baro has dedicated tremendous effort into selecting a design firm that could make its vision a reality.
“This brick and beam space, formerly home to textiles for the last century, provided a unique opportunity to combine contemporary touches while also paying homage to Latin roots, cuisine and culture,” says Ian Rydberg, principal designer and founder of Solid Design & Build.
Adding to the intimacy of the Baro experience, the main bar includes a custom brass architectural feature as well as antique mirrors on pivots, which reflect the light in the space and catch the reflections of customers, food and cocktails. Each floor of the restaurant also features original artwork that aims to highlight the colours and creativity of Latin culture by local Toronto artists.
Baro will employ more than 65 staff who have been undergoing extensive customer experience training in the weeks leading up to the opening. The management team behind Baro insists that it is the employees who ultimately have the power to make any restaurant a success.
“This business has to be about investing in your front line,” says Colin Denton, General Manager for Baro. “We are firm believers that when you invest wholly in your employees they will invest in you by striving to make our guests happy with each visit. This is our primary goal and that is why we focused on not only hiring skilled professionals, but hiring those who are aligned with our vision and company culture.”
Throughout its ongoing customer experience training with its staff and management teams, one thing is clear; Baro aims to surpass expectations and to be its own harshest critic.
“As managers and owners, the bar is set very high and we will strive to not only meet that standard but to exceed it every single day.”
Baro is located at 485 King Street West.
Will you be visiting the new Baro? Let us know in the comments.