Marrying two concepts in one space is no easy task, but leave it to Evelyn Chick to come up with a bar like Simpl Things. Parkdale is known for its quintessential quirkiness, a mini-town of itself devoted to original mom-and-pop shops. Located on the corner of Queen and Dunn Streets, Simpl Things fits right in.

“I decided to take a big leap of faith. No matter what time of day, or what vibe you’re in, as long as you’re in good company, the food and drinks are going to be good. But if the food and drinks are excellent, it’s because we curated the space for you,” says founder Evelyn Chick.

An Italian eatery by day, with Chef Cody Philip supplying the carbs courtesy Pasta Cartl. At night, it’s a Taiwanese snack bar of street food shareables by Chef Betty Chia. Evelyn is one of Toronto’s preeminent cocktail enthusiasts and innovators. Known for her event space Ahma, as well as her cocktail enterprise EC Projects, her special spin and devotion to daring haven’t gone unnoticed.

With an eye for design and a knack for knowing what the next trend will be, Simpl Things is the evolution of all things Evelyn.

STEP INSIDE PARKDALE’S SIMPLE THINGS

Evelyn styled and hand-picked everything. Each carafe, highball or coupe was purchased at her behest. Her cocktail menu speaks to both menus. Modern interpretations of classic concoctions, with seasonal influences and non-alcoholic options, are something for everyone, truly.

Split into two menus, one for pasta pairing and one for nighttime imbibing, Evelyn shows her depth and mastery of cocktails with each menu. “I have no business meddling in the back of the house and leave that completely to them. I essentially rent out the back to them. I’m in charge of all FOH. I help curate the rest of the space ensuring it’s cohesive,” adds Evelyn.

evelyn chick- simpl things bar toronto

WHAT’S ON TAP AT SIMPL THINGS IN PARKDALE

Industry workers will appreciate the Monday brunch, a blessed day off for those who worked all weekend. Cody makes all the breads and pastas daily, with standouts like Chestnut Risotto ($22) and Porchetta Breakfast Sando ($19), comfort food is the equation, and Pasta Cartl is the solution. Evelyn matches this vibe with Simpl’s Espresso Martini ($14), made with Cold Brew and Loc Orange sugar.

Standouts on Betty’s snack menu include Bang Bang Pineapple Shrimp ($16) and Spicy Chilled Silken Tofu ($14) with gochujang and century egg crumble. Evelyn marries these flavours with punchy Figget About It ($15), bringing fig and black pepper infused Lot 40 with smoked maple.

Nurturing the talent of these two Chefs, and staying in her own (cocktail) lane, Evelyn is a breath of fresh air for the restaurant industry. Ahma‘s pop-ups through Covid proved to be an incubator for Cody and Betty. Now, with a fresh face and interesting space, Simpl Things is the antidote to the stale Toronto dining experience.

“It’s like my second apartment,” says Evelyn.

@auburnlane

Drink your veggies! Don’t mind if we do @Evelyn Chick @simplthings.to #auburnlanedrinks #toronto #cocktails

♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

Book now for corporate, and private events. Simpl Things is closed Tuesdays.

269 Dunn Ave at Queen Street West.

All photos by Libby Roach.