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Toronto just got a little more otherworldly with the opening of Offworld Bar, a Sci-Fi-themed cocktail bar and lounge located on the sought-after strip of Queen Street West between Bathurst and Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Offworld is operated by Vancouver-based game developer and entrepreneur Jason Kapalka and the same crew behind Storm Crow Manor, the ultimate “nerd” bar that occupies a Victorian mansion on Church Street. While Storm Crow targets fans of terrestrial fiction and fantasy genres, Offworld promises to transport intrepid customers to a faraway galaxy that’s a little less geek and somewhat more sleek.
Taking over the second floor space formerly occupied by The Raq, Offworld’s interior feels like the (very spacious) inner chamber of a rocket ship, albeit one decked out with a space-age bar and cushy lounge furniture. Instead of TV screens streaming the same old Earth-centric sports and videos, Offworld’s walls are outfitted with large virtual windows that invite you to contemplate simulated vistas of alternate planets and solar systems.
While you’re tripping, there’s plenty of punny food and drinks to sustain you.
“Nourishment” options veer towards the small and the shareable. Options run the gamut from Quantum Wings and Spicy Jackfruit Nanoburgers to Old Earth Oysters from Terra’s ancient island of Prince Edward (a.k.a. PEI). For a sugar kick, there are Confectionary Units such as Magellanic Macarons and Dark Star Eclair, delivered daily by “rocket express” from nearby Nugateau Patisserie.
The “Liquid Inebriants” are appropriately out of this world. Signature cocktails include the Mesophere, made with Blanco, Siete Misterios mezcal, blueberry mint syrup and fresh lime juice, and the Origami Spaceship, whose mixture of lemongrass Aperol, Suntori, lemon juice and Amaro Nonino is topped with a rice paper airplane that hovers elegantly over the glass.
Then there’s the Xenophauna: celery-infused gin, green Chartreuse, lime juice, demerara syrup, and tajin, whose showpiece garnish – a fried grasshopper on a dehydrated orange slice – packs some bonus protein.
“Administered in aluminum cinders,” the Terran Brews include Blood Brothers’ Paradise Lost Guava Sour, Karbon’s Helios Lager, and Paniza’s Jupiter Pilsner and Mark Dunkel Bock. Those who want to stay more firmly rooted on terra firma can count on Ground Control options such as Beachmode, a non-alc potion made with lemonade, lime juice, cilantro syrup and Hawaiian black salt.
Within the Offworld universe, uniformed “pilots” circulate at regular intervals to make sure all passengers are well cared for – whether seated at tables, lounge chairs or the VIP pods for large groups (reservations recommended). Early feedback from customers who made it back down to Earth has been positive.
Offworld is located at 739 Queen Street West and is open Thursday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m (Thurs. and Sun.) and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Fri. and Sat.)