Many years of conversation and imagining have been made manifest in our great friend Paul Campbell's Riverside restaurant/bar Aft. Paul's vision is to create a welcoming space where friends and neighbours can gather without pretense to enjoy quality food and drink at great value. Its been our pleasure collaborating with him on the visual aspects.
Emphasizing their expertise in the smoker and a touch of sous vide, Aft's chef and pitmaster cook up delicious nightly specials including authentic Texas BBQ. Go for the good food and great people, you won't be disappointed.
The cozy room is occupied by reused banquets and two-seaters made out of single Toronto sugar maple slab that can be combined for larger groups. Dining tables are warmly lit with pendant lamps using glass fixtures originally used in the diner that occupied the space 60 years ago. The 18 ft bar is topped with a whole live-edge slab of a sugar maple tree from Toronto Island and clad with a striped scrap wood pattern emphasizing the natural colours of the wood.
Above the bar block lights spell out A-F-T in binary code with their alternating bulb shapes. The back bar shelving is comprised of repurposed furniture elements dividing the shelves made of clear pine from a church organ in the Beaches. Holding up the impressive bourbon collection are shelves from salvaged white oak from a barn in Kentucky.
Nearly doubling their capacity, Aft now has a sunny back patio, one of few in the hood. They are serving signature smokehouse BBQ, sous vide and adding southern inspired weekend brunch to their offerings. The intimate terrace has comfortable and ecclectic seating and a 10 foot bar built around a tree.
Smoked blueberry margarita in the sun anyone?
The focal point of the patio is the outdoor bar complete with draught tap and a tree reaching out of the reclaimed Douglas fir top. The Douglas fir is carried on through the tables and long benches. Two big orbs repurposed from city street lights light up the patio, the black locust used for the communal table opposite the bar was obtained from Toronto Island. Our school chair bar stools in fir sit in front of the bar and the other chairs were obtained from Amherst prison in New York.
The bar is supported on found ash lattice which also surrounds the slate chalk board found in a school in Woodstock (the owner's hometown) overlooking the patio.