Your guide to star-spotting at INK venues during TIFF ’19

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back for 2019 and a star-studded list of guests will flood the city for the festival’s 10-day duration. With TIFF comes the parties, events and interviews, which means the city will be on high alert for the best in celebrity sightings. INK Entertainment venues have been known to host a celebrity or two, so here are a few places in Toronto for your best chance at star-spotting.

Bisha Hotel & Residence

Home to the IMDB Studio at the Visa Infinite Lounge in previous years, Bisha is no stranger to a celebrity or two. The hotel hosts the world’s trendiest guests on the regular and the lobby bar – Mister C – been home to a few pre and after parties for TIFF films. Stars spotted in the past include Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney and Greta Gerwig.

 

Akira Back

Located on the second floor of Bisha Hotel, Michelin-star chef Akira Back, the buzz worthy menu, private dining room and cool decor designed by Studio Munge is enough to draw any celebrity in. Canadian icons Ben and Jessica Mulroney are loyal patrons of the restaurant, as well as Jessica Biel and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been spotted indulging in Back’s signature dishes.

 

KOST

The rooftop restaurant – located on the 44th floor of Bisha Hotel – has unparalleled views of Toronto and was recently dubbed the city’s best patio by BlogTO. Already a popular and Instagrammable destination for locals and tourists, you can bet the stars will want to take in the views and fresh menu, like Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Geena Davis and Martin Short have done.

 

Sofia Restaurant & Bar

While it may not be located right in the heart of TIFF action, Sofia is a pearl nestled in Yorkville and secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The fine-dining destination offers Italian-inspired cuisine and a menu curated by executive chef Rob LeClair. The luxe space holds the charm of modern dining with a dash of Hollywood glamour, as well as a private outdoor patio – This checks every box for a TIFF event. Stars spotted in past include Drake, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum and Dan Aykroyd.

 

Byblos Downtown / STORYs Toronto

Byblos and STORYs are staple spots for star-spotting during TIFF. Byblos – the award-winning Eastern Mediterranean restaurant – has celebrities flocking each night to get a taste of the incredible menu, as well as being host to a few after parties. Sharing the same space, STORYs has been home to many a pre or post screening party, as well as the RBC Lounge. Stars spotted in the past include Jessica Chastain, Brie Larson, Emma Stone, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey and Bryan Cranston.

 

Patria

Patria is the ultimate spot on King West for private dining and party experiences for TIFF events. The Barcelona inspired restaurant is discreetly tucked away and boasts impressive Spanish flavoured menu items. It has also has been host to a bevy of premiere parties, including an appearance by Ryan Gosling.

 

Weslodge

You cannot miss the big yellow doors when you’re walking down King Street – and neither can the biggest names in Hollywood. Weslodge has been the host to many a TIFF event and has had stars such as Richard Gere and Gary Oldman spotted inside. Matthew McConaughey even booked out the venue last year for an invite-only tasting of his Wild Turkey whisky.

 

Spoke Club

The exclusive members-only club has hosted many galas and premiere parties in the past. Now under the helm of INK Entertainment, Spoke Club boasts a newly renovated private rooftop patio and bar that will be idea for all A-list guests seeking the most exclusive events. Stars spotted in the past include Penelope Cruz, Bradley Cooper, Woody Harrelson and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Stars spotted at INK Entertainment & ICONINK venues during TIFF 2018

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars were spotted at INK Entertainment and ICONINK venues this TIFF to celebrate the premiere of their films. Between junkets and interviews at Bisha‘s IMDB Lounge, premiere parties at Patria, Weslodge, Mira, KOST and Mister C, to numerous spottings at RBC House in STORYS, TIFF stars were seen everywhere this festival.

View highlights in our photo gallery below.

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”2″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_imagebrowser” ajax_pagination=”0″ order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

 

Photos courtesy of Jason Lynch, Joel Levy and Sonia Recchia (Getty Images).

Mister C shortlisted for AHEAD Americas Awards

Congratulations to the Bisha Hotel & Residences and INK Entertainment teams as the lobby bar, Mister C, has been shortlisted for Sleeper Magazine’s AHEAD Americas Awards. AHEAD awards hospitality, experience and design in the design and guest experience sectors. The ceremony will be held in June.

For more information on the awards and to check out Mister C’s listing, head to the AHEAD Awards website.

Follow Bisha Hotel & Residences: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Bisha Hotel Toronto: Tried, tested and recommended

8/10 Telegraph expert rating

Following its official debut in what many called the party of the year, Charles Khabouth’s luxury lifestyle Bisha Hotel and Residences has quickly shaken up Toronto’s hospitality scene. Located at the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment district, we welcomed Telegraph reviewer Doug Wallace to check out everything the 44 storeys had to share.

See his full review here.

Follow Bisha Hotel and Residences: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

What’s inside Akira Back, the Michelin-starred chef’s first Canadian restaurant?

After opening its doors to Toronto in December, Akira Back has been wowing the city with Japanese-Korean dishes in a space inspired by the chef’s mother’s art. We invited Toronto Life and BlogTO to check out the restaurant for themselves and here’s what they had to say…

Toronto Life

The Food

Photo courtesy of Renee Suen for Toronto Life

“The menu of Korean-flavoured Japanese dishes features a few of Back’s playful signature items (tuna pizza, wagyu tacos), a whole whack of fancy ingredients (foie gras, caviar, truffle paste) and more-traditional sushi, sashimi and maki. One dish exclusive to this location is Back’s quirky tribute to Canada: crispy cubes of rice topped with seared tuna and flavoured with ketchup powder, because ketchup chips.”

 

BlogTO

The Interior

“The Toronto restaurant on the second floor of the Bisha Hotel by a world-renowned chef is surprisingly personal. Exterior signage, a sophisticated ceiling design and even plates feature artwork inspired by the chef’s mother. Even getting into the restaurant is impressive thanks to an all-gold stairway.”

Follow Bisha Hotel and Residences: Website | Facebook | Instagram