The new decade has kicked off with an unexpected bang, and so far the year has been a roller-coaster of openings and closures, of isolation and social distancing, and never has anyone deserved, or desired, a drink more than now. A chance to saddle up to a bar, with friends or to remain nameless among strangers, where a friendly face behind the bar top is offering a quick drink and the chance to wash away the stress of the day.
The Last Resort is a crumpled love letter to all those gritty, down-on-their-luck bars that boomed in post-war port towns, where sailors, dockworkers and those a little rough around the edges bumped elbows, and sometimes fists. It is a nod to roadside pit stops littering empty highways that split through small towns in the Midwest and the type of place that as a young ruffian, Founder Christopher Mark spent years sneaking into, where regulars have their favourite bar stools and chipped glassware. It is the back alley bars in big cities, a hidden dive where smoke hangs thick in the air, and the jukebox is playing nothing but sad songs or guilty pleasures on repeat.
An approachable and straightforward take on drinks, The Last Resort offers well-made, quality cocktails, like fresh-pressed green apple juice with your favourite bourbon, or cherry cola and rum. Nothing fancy or ostentatious, just an honest approach to the drink you have been waiting for since that business meeting took a wrong turn, since that date night went awry, or the dinner shift grind left you dragging. Quality, strong drinks are paired with a menu from fellow Canadian and Executive Chef of Ho Lee Fook and Le Garçon Saigon, Jowett Yu, focused on hot fried chicken to provide much-needed comfort. Chef Jow elevates his signature fried chicken by using the famed local three-yellow chicken from the New Territories and a special blend of spices.
Founder Christopher Mark comments ”We have been part of SoHo for so long now, it has become our home and we really wanted to open something that was made for us, for our teams, our friends and our peers. A lot of the team have spent time living in Canada and have a similar nostalgia for these no-frills bars that act as a haven after long days or nights, in some cases long weeks and months, where those in the neighbourhood, those working in the industry could find a little respite.” Tucked away in The Last Resort, time can pass without measure, drink in hand. Where strangers and friends alike are welcomed in, and where everyone knows your name, or if you prefer, not.