Things won't be as they seem at Vatican Gift Shop

Photo:  Dean Seguin

Photo: Dean Seguin

Toronto’s east end is getting a religious-themed gift shop, probably slated to purvey faith through rosaries, candles and prayer books.

But push through the back, and locals will reveal a hidden speakeasy tucked away behind the store.

Set to open this fall, the Vatican Gift Shop will be an unassuming storefront from the street. In the back is where things take a turn.

The secret bar will be strongly influenced by German beer halls with Italian street food and a Neapolitan pizza menu by chef Andy Wilson (of Pinkerton’s and Poor Romeo).

The bar will showcase unannounced concerts and performance shows on a back stage.

Amaro cocktails will be the focus of the drink menu, along with a lineup of exclusively east end beers on the local side and a few Bavarian lagers to round things out. In total, the bar will have 20 taps and a cache of cans and bottles.

It’s the first of its kind for the neighbourhood, a clandestine space to go for drinks on the down low.

Shhh! Let’s keep it our little secret.