We don’t know how long it will be before we’ll find ourselves back in a bar, asking for a recommendation from the bartender for our next drink order — but one Toronto bar is aiming to recreate the experience in takeout form.
The Cloak Bar, a hidden cocktail bar located under Marben Restaurant, has launched a new “Cocktail Hotline” that allows customers to place on-the-spot, custom cocktail orders via DM to the bar’s Instagram account.
On Fridays and Saturdays from 4-10 p.m., you can message @TheCloakBar to place a drink order. Ask for your favourite cocktail customized to your liking or leave it up to the Cloak Bar’s head bartender, Farzam Fallah, to recommend a drink for you based on your preferences.
Whatever you choose, Fallah will bottle it up immediately and it will be ready for pick-up within about 15-30 minutes. “I want people to treat this like their regular cocktail bars and me as their neighbourhood bartender,” he says.
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While plenty of Toronto bars have launched cool batched cocktail programs amid the pandemic, the Cloak Bar wanted to offer customers more choice. Batched programs typically give customers a limited selection of cocktail options, plus don’t allow guests to tweak how sweet (or dry) they want their drink to be. The Cloak Bar’s new program allows customers to order exactly the kind of drink they want and on-demand.
“I was finding myself getting a little bit tired and uninspired,” says Fallah. “When you’re working with bottled cocktails, you’re making 20 or 30 of the same thing. It’s been fun getting back behind the bar and starting to use those muscles again, both in my brain and in my hand.”
He says that Paper Planes and Margaritas have been the most popular orders so far. “It’s not just getting a drink — it’s the whole experience of having that [Instagram] conversation and coming to the shop and knowing that the drink was made specifically for you,” adds Fallah. “It’s something different. It’s almost like being open again.”