torstar news service


Vodka is the drink of choice at Proof.

Proof: The Vodka Bar

220 Bloor St. W.

(Intercontinental Hotel)


Ambience: It’s just what Yorkville needed — another partially pretentious cocktail stop. This one is the renovated lobby bar of the Intercontinental Hotel, the interior of which looks decidedly cooler than the former faux-mahogany interior that was so early ’90s. The patio has been spruced up as well, but it’s the quality of the clientele that has experienced perhaps the most important facelift. Club kids venture here for drinks before their weekend nightspot circuit; some even make this their exclusive destination bar. Whatever the case, a live DJ on weekends spinning house and a new, stylized look have turned a tired bar into a choice destination for the martini crowd.

Crowd: Expect to party alongside those in their mid- to late-twenties, most of whom have a bit of cash to spend (or are at least good at pretending) and have a tendency to flaunt their good looks and haute couture.

Dress code: Break out your designer finest — Proof’s clientele aims to impress. While jeans are acceptable, most denim worn costs in excess of $250 — on the low end. Pay a visit to posh Holt Renfrew down the street before stopping in for champagne and you should look fine.

Should I dance on the bar? It’s just been renovated, so stay on the floor.

Will I get lucky? Those with the right look and the right connections stand a chance; others need not apply.

Best accessory: Definitely an entourage.

Cocktail du jour: If you guessed vodka, you would be correct. Dozens of varying qualities of vodka line Proof’s bar and, naturally, their signature martinis reflect the emphasis on Eastern Europe’s favourite liquor. Proof also has a decent, very reasonably priced wine list worth investigating.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.