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Design We Love: Le Tigre

Exit a genteel stretch of Yonge street in Rosedale via a discreet black door. then clamber up a staircase flanked by rainforest-print wallpaper and escape to Le Tigre.

The second-floor window on the street is overrun with foliage, daylight obscured in favour of ubiquitous pink light. The centrepiece marble bar is shiny-to-glistening. Private alcoves are tucked here and there. And there’s a seductive long menu of imaginatively named cocktails, each as enticing as the next. Pick one. Try two. Go with the indulgent flow.

“We didn’t set out to do a higher-end cocktail destination,” admits co-owner Rob Granicolo, who with partner Stephen Gouzopoulos also owns Cry Baby in Toronto’s much grittier west end. “It developed organically from the Rosedale location.”

There were other formative factors — namely, in the planning days, a fortuitously timed trip to London, and the good sense to recognize an opportunity to make a business expense of some posh drinking. Cue a few of the latest Richard Caring hot spots in Mayfair, like his Martin Brudnizki–designed Sexy Fish and, just across Berkeley Square, Annabel’s, the venerable ’60s nightclub which, in 2018, Caring relaunched as an over-the-top (and very pink) private members’ club.

“We knew we couldn’t take the designer from Annabel’s and build a $20-million entity here,” Granicolo allows, severely underestimating that budget. “But we could value-engineer some of it. We could do a pink bar.”

So that’s exactly what he and Gouzopoulos designed and executed. And if it’s not authentically Mayfair enough for you, there’s a fix for that: order the $98 Old Fashioned.—STAFF

Photography by Rick O’Brien.