Praise Bottle Shop is now open on Bloor Street, right on the corner of Shaw Street. Born out of the Gargoyle Wine Club, Praise functions as a proper bricks and mortar for the wine club subscription service. Bottle Shops are a hot commodity on Bloor Street, with a few dotted across the street and around the corner from Praise. there’s certainly a lure to this grab and go or stay and play format, one that truthfully I looooong for in my own neighbourhood.
Breezing in for a cinq a sept with friends, grabbing a nice bottle to pair with dinner, or just bringing a book to tuck in for some quiet time sound like tantalizing options. I love the community feel, it’s warm and inviting, like a Cheers with no witty one-liners, or salty servers.
Beyond Basic Bar Bites
Yes, of course a somm-approved wine list, (with a charitable tie-in) is a safe start, that’s the cornerstone of a good bottle shop. But Praise Bottle Shop goes beyond mere wine-rackish convenience. Wines of the world are a great start, but pairings are proof, and there’s no better person to create that magic than tiny-kitchen culinary chef-wizard Doug Penfold. Formerly of the postage stamp kitchen in Yorkville Chabrol, Doug is lending his vision to the menu, a tidy compact countertop set behind the bar, equipped with some fancy kitchen basics.
Creativity drives the menu, and while space is restricted, the menu definitely isn’t. While you won’t see a full-four course meal here anytime soon, would you really want to belly up the bar and fuss over so much food? The menu features a sublime snack menu with rotating seasonal bites like Rabbit Toast or Truffle Chips, salty snacks and sweet snacks to hold sturdy against the backdrop of bottles. Grab and go items to beef up your home pantry are also available.
The sunny bar is a great place to start, but a venture downstairs offers a whisky lovers a unique spot to pour a dram and decompress. It’s moody and dark with a very Euro feel. If you’re still not up for traveling but are missing your wanderlust experiences, this may be a perfect Band-Aid to tide you over.
Praise Bottle Shop is located at 828 Bloor Street West. Give them a follow on socials to stay up to date on events and more @ praisebottleshop
All photos by Libby Roach.