Martin Hirschberg, George Foussias
Bang and Olufsen
Joy von Tiedemann
Located on the fringes of the trendy Yorkville district in downtown Toronto, Empire Restaurant & Lounge is designed as a place where “royalty comes to play”. This has a bold design that is arresting in its very simplicity.
The owners envisioned Empire as a venue to fill a major gap in the area’s night scene where Mr. and Mrs. Famous could go to the “scene with the cuisine”. The entire venue is a sleek blend of highly polished surfaces, where white bar tops, dark zebrawood furniture, and dramatic draperies come together to create a theatrical and cool club-like atmosphere.
Upstairs is the luxe new supper club that accommodates 110 for lunch, dinner, and “look-at-me” lounging on adjacent street-level patio. It can best be described as spacious and minimalist. The layout was designed for maximum space usage by having only perimeter furniture fixed. A long bar occupies the rear wall, creating a dramatic stage for those passing by on the street. The three “Jewel Booths” dressed in ostrich leather introduce some very private seating to the main level, while sparkling sheers that can be moved to separate the loose tables adds a very unique element that allows guests inside the booth to view the entire restaurant, and guests outside to look back at them.
Downstairs is “Chazz” nightclub, where the sense of privilege is enhanced by VIP bottle service and a deliberately understated back alley entrance that allows VIPs to be smuggled in. Downstairs, the feeling is more communal with an intimate dance floor and curvy banquettes. The white ostrich leather seats stand out in contrast to the dark wood and subdued lighting. Empire Restaurant & Lounge adds vibrancy and style to the Yorkville strip, reaching into the areas of seclusion and voyeurism.