Toronto, ON M5J 0B6
Supernova Ballroom is a groovy, jewel-toned, '70s inspired cocktail bar at Bay and Adelaide in the heart of the Financial District. This disco-themed bar is not only awe-inspiring because of its retro theme, celebratory cocktails and grandiose heritage interior, but Supernova is also making drinking sustainable.
Kelsey Ramage, owner and operator of Supernova Ballroom, cut her teeth in Toronto's hospitality industry through her early adulthood before moving to London, England to work at the critically acclaimed cocktail bar, formerly known as Dandelyan. After seeing the amount of bar waste that comes from operating a cocktail bar, Ramage and her partner in life and business Iain Griffiths, decided to create an anti-waste and sustainable bar program pop-up, Trash Tiki.
Trash Tiki travelled to more than 60 countries teaching bartenders how to make use of otherwise considered “bar waste”. While visiting LoPan, DaiLo’s upstairs snack bar in 2017, Ramage was invigorated by Toronto's nightlife scene and decided this is where she would open her first brick and mortar bar.
While conceptualizing Supernova, Ramage took influence from the Trash Tiki mentality, but also wanted to incorporate local Canadian products not only in the kitchen, but behind the bar as well.
Supernova Ballroom is all about the cocktails. The groovy menu features a retro bubble letter font that leads you through a list of bubbly, fizzy and celebratory sips. A couple of which are a riff on Ramage’s favourite cocktail, the classic French 75. All of the cocktails at Supernova Ballroom are made with local ingredients from Ontario producers and farmers. The booze is carefully selected from international and Canadian distillers demonstrating sustainable practices. While the breweries and cider makers are all Canadian, mostly Ontarian, allowing Torontonians a chance to experience some of the products made right here at home.
Supernova bellini ($16) is made with in-house fermented Niagara peaches, a clarified white miso to add umami and topped with prosecco.
Little thief G&T ($15) is made with oyster thief seaweed that can be found along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Fords Gin, fever tree tonic and white peach and chrysanthemum bitters.
The sun dollar high ball ($15) is bubbly and super vibrant. The fuchsia colour comes from the batched green strawberry and raspberry syrup made in-house, while the bitterness comes from the Iris Blanc vermouth. The cocktail is then topped with an Ontario made sparkling rosé.
Disco socks ($16) is made from a split coconut milk which is then saved and used in their mushroom tartar. The coconut is stirred with Aperol, grapefruit and Novo Fogo cachaça.
The great day for Bay ($16) is an ode to their Bay Street location and is made with a house-made Saskatoon berry aperitif, Lillet Blanc and topped with an Ontario sparkling rosé.
As this bar is more of a cocktail emporium than a restaurant, the food is snackable and perfect to enjoy as a light bite while sipping. Keeping with the theme of sustainability, the dishes here are mostly vegetarian and focus on incorporating low-waste and sustainable practices into their cooking techniques. The menu has a kitsch to it that can only be visualized by their highlighter pink disco deviled eggs.
Disco deviled eggs ($6) are made with a preserved lemon, confit garlic and are soaked in a beet juice marinade to make them that perfect shade of pink. These vibrant eggs are served with a side of grained mustard and a cornichon.
Mushroom tartar ($12) is made of finely diced mushrooms, tarragon and is topped with a crème fraîche made from the leftover coconut whey used in the disco socks cocktail. This dish is served on a leaf of endive and topped with a slice of red chili pepper.
The ultra-groovy space is located inside 330 Bay St. through a set of double doors that lead you into what you might consider a somewhat looming environment. Super high ceilings and cold limestone gives this space an almost hard exterior, but the lively colours and silky velour accents add a warmth that is then emulated by their staff and sparkling libations.
Built in the early 1920s, this heritage building is completely protected. Supernova’s space is a time capsule back to an era where it was okay to cut a rug and celebrate life, which are words Kelsey Ramage and the Supernova staff live by.