chris atchison/metro toronto


Foundation Room

19 Church St.


Ambience: Walk down the steps to Foundation Room and you’ll quickly find yourself in the middle of an urban oasis of the Moroccan kind. The décor screams trendy-traditional Middle Eastern, while the vibe is relaxed enough to virtually lull one to sleep. Arabic-infused beats fill the air while patrons laze on crimson cushions sipping mod cocktails. This is, without a doubt, a themed lounge, but unlike some venues where an overly focused ambience becomes distracting, Foundation Room offers near spa-like serenity with a funky bite.

Crowd: Foundation Room’s clientele skews a bit older to those in their late 20s and early 30s. The crowd suits the chilled-out mood nicely while providing just enough edge to make a visit interesting.

Dress code: Think Middle Eastern chic. If you have trouble deciphering that description, opt for classy casual with an emphasis on high designer labels.

Should I dance on the bar? While dancing of the belly variety would be appropriate, such behaviour is not recommended.

Will I get lucky? Forget meeting someone, but lay your foundations properly with your date and you won’t arrive home unescorted.

Best Accessory: A fez.

Cocktail du jour: Elegant libations are de rigeur, everything from martinis, to mojitos, to fine wines. When you’re lazing on those plush couches in dimly lit corners, a bit of cocktail decadence goes a long way.

Hours: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday.