the gaarden patio is now open for the season. And while this Toronto institution formerly known as Cube has been around the block, the nightclub has been reborn, replete with tropical touches and lush living greenery. Tucked in on the north side of Queen West, the club is a destination for day-drinking, tapas style snacks, and a nifty cocktail menu that screams sunshine.

The space has a loungey vibe, with several seating options and bars to choose from. Comfy couches anchor the communal high-tops, with bar areas flanking the entire space. A BBQ in the back corner gives it a beachy vibe, and even though you’re definitely on Queen West, you’re set back far enough that you won’t hear the streetcars, but close enough that you distinctly know you’re still downtown.

Drinks are splashy and curated by none other than Nishan Nepulangoda, the city’s preeminent bartender. He’s the man behind several other Toronto’s bar menus, including Sofia in Yorkville. He takes his job seriously- these are no basic vodka + sodas. Nishan has a vision, from the glass it’s served in, to the garnish that crowns it, every detail is thought out to the smallest detail. JalapeƱo Margarita ($13.25) hits the spot, with subtle heat from the pepper, to the balanced salty rim, this drink goes down easy, with citrus notes to balance it all out.

If you’re more into something sweet, the 1800 Coconut Crusher ($11) will definitely satisfy. Boozy 1800 Coconut Tequila is paired with pineapple juice and soda, with coconut shavings for that little extra.

Aperol Apricot Spritzer ($13.25) and the Gaarden Caesar ($12.75) are tasteful upgrades on the classics and pair well with the food program. It’s not just your typical deep-fried finds, Cube aspires to offer better bar bites, like the Crispy Cauliflower ($12) with hummus, kalamata olives, feta and fresh basil. It’s keto-friendly and a feast for the eyes.

For those not counting carbs, the Jerk Chicken Burger ($15) is a safe bet. With sweet grilled pineapple and fired up chicken, this sammy comes saddled with a side of coleslaw.

Beefier palates will dig the Bratwurst Sausage ($12) grilled to order and served with sauerkraut.

Shareables like the Salsa, Guac & Hummus ($12) board are perfect nibbles, especially with piles of pita and crispy tortillas.

Photo Courtesy the gaarden

the gaarden is available for buyouts and reservations, check their website for latest DJ lineups and special events. Thanks to the gaarden for the preview!
All photos by Libby Roach (except where noted).