Gift Shop, a small, speakeasy-type cocktail bar on Ossington, is already difficult to get into, so it is with some reluctance that I share this Toronto gem.
Gift Shop is located at the back of a barber shop – yep, you heard me. Amongst all the restaurants and bars on Ossington St., you’ll see a green light outside the front of what appears to be a closed barber shop. Walk on in and make your way to the back through a narrow doorway where the room opens up into a tiny, magical cocktail bar. If you are headed there on a Friday or Saturday night, prepare to be on a waiting list which can be up to 1.5 to 2 hours long. (Pro tip: if you are with a larger group, consider ditching a few with the ol’ “oh, it’s late, we’re just going to go home” trick – your wait can be considerably less for a party of 2.)
Once in, however, you will (a) feel a sense of accomplishment that you got in, and (b) be delighted by the lengthy cocktail list or you can request a custom cocktail from the skilled bartenders. Enjoy!