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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Saucy lady

Let's be honest....Pioneer has always wanted to write a post with a title called 'saucy lady', ha! It's a perfect segue into the news that the mysterious lounge called Sauce at 1376 Danforth will finally be opening it's doors this week. Thank goodness, because it had become a bit of a Pioneer obsession to scan the QR code in the window whenever we walked by.

When Pioneer stopped by for a first sneak peak, owners Michelle and Johnny were hard at work putting the finishing touches on their Victorian bordello, a concept that is hard to visualize until you step into the perfectly styled, crimson wallpapered space. With gilt mirrors, brocade walls, a player piano and bohemian chic stuffed armchairs, the space is the perfect place for a late night rendezvous, a stiff gentleman's drink or a night with the girls.

"I've been collecting great vintage pieces for years, and this is sort of the culmination of that collection, but now our house is empty. We've promised our kids we'll get new furniture soon," laughed Michelle.

Everyone who walks by will notice the lovingly restored stained glass window.

"It had been covered under a sign for thirty years or so, but local artist Victor Fraser immediately came to the rescue and helped us to restore it," Michelle explained.
Owners Michelle and Johnny ham it up at the player piano.

She and her partner Johnny have both been working in the restaurant and bar industry for two decades and after some time in the corporate world, Michelle decided that it was time to open up their own place close to home and close to their friends.

They say they want this to be a classic lounge. Indicative of the current backlash against "fancy cocktails", the pair are big fans of going back to the basics.

"We're talking way way back to the basics. Prohibition era drinks are the types of things we want to have on the menu," said Johnny. "But don't worry, there won't be any bathtub gin. We want only top shelf bourbons, tequilas etc. Things you can't find easily on the Danforth."

The pair are hoping they will be able to open this week, pending some administrative loose ends being tied up. A rear patio, with a secluded French Quarter flair, won't be open right away but is in the works for the near future. The lounge will also offer craft beers, and Pioneer is looking forward to their specialty cocktail in the works.

"It will probably be red," laughed Michelle. "Whatever colour it is though, there are going to be a few late nights ahead of us working on that surprise!"


  1. Great to see a place like this in our neighbourhood. Can't wait to drop in for a pint or two!

  2. Had a great time last night for a friends birthday. Michelle was a fantastic host. The vibe was funky, ecclectic and artsy without being pretentious. Felt like I have been going to the Sauce for years. This is definately our new local.