Bosley Realestate

Bar Raval On College Street In Little Italy

May 11th, 2016 | City LivingRestaurantsCollege Street/Little Italy

I recently learned that 'El Raval' is the name of a neighbourhood in Barcelona that is an up-and-coming 'place to be' with edgy attitude and lots of energy... and so is Bar Raval on College Street!


Photo courtesy of TorontoLife


Bar Raval sits on a prime piece of real estate on the corner of College Street and Palmerston Avenue; it's generated a lot of buzz in the restaurant community! Often, while dining at Kalendar just down the street I've been overhearing chatter praising the 'experience' of the restaurant. BlogTO describes it as a unique take on "Spanish revivalism [that] is a legitimate sensation", while the Globe and Mail calls it the "kind of space that, though modest in scale, could torque the culture of the city through sheer ambition."


Photo courtesy of Suresh Doss for Post City


The majority of Bar Raval's fanfare seems to surround its adventurous interior design. I read that the owner and chef, Grant van Gameren, who has already made a success of Bar Isabel, dropped a cool $200,000 on the renovation! According to Toronto Life, award-winning PARTISANS Ontario design firm, who are famous for their tech-enhanced woodwork, surpassed Mr. van Gameren's expectations; they manipulated mahogany to create a space reminiscent of a "super-stylish grotto." I imagine if the Keebler elves had thousands of dollars and a tree on College Street, Bar Raval is what it might look like inside!


Photo courtesy of PARTISANS Design Firm


Seated at the stunning bar, I perused a menu of offerings that are indeed Barcelona-rific: divine pintxo snacks all day and cocktails by night. Grant van Gameren serves up these European-inspired treats at a chef station that is open to the view of patrons. This is good news, since he looks like this:


Photo by Dan Gillespie for Toronto Life

Photo courtesy of BlogTO


What tasty eats! Even though I don't often opt for this kind of fare (think plancha-grilled seafood, quail eggs on blood sausage, and steamed leeks on romesco) the simple and cleanly presented apps were quite pleasing to the palette! And, as I consider myself somewhat of a cocktail connoisseur, I sampled three of their concoctions (for the full experience, of course!)


Photo courtesy of BlogTO

Photo courtesy of BlogTO

Photo courtesy of BlogTO


Even though the bar was shoulder to shoulder people - thanks to its modish rep - the experience was one worth repeating. Moreover, it's a unique addition to the Little Italy Neighbourhood, and will attract a lot of foot traffic to this area!

It's definitely a premier destination for those subscribing to a hip urbane life.

Could you imagine popping over here for lunch or dinner from your new income property just up the street? Check out this awesome urban pad - A Brick & Beam Loft with Courtyard Garden in Toronto's Button Factory - now SOLD!


Bar Raval
505 College Street, Toronto
Open Everyday, 8am-2am

~ Steven and the urbaneer team

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