It’s a throwback speakeasy and steakhouse that seems out of time in Toronto off King Street West, but the newest spot for nightlife is called Empire Supper Club and it feels like 1920s Las Vegas.
A supper club is somewhere between disco and restaurant and the kind of thing that South Beach does well: it’s dining and dancing where the overriding shared expression is decadence and celebration — the kind of place where ordering another round is par for the course. Even celebrities like Drake and The Weeknd have both come here for nights on the town.
“Empire Supper Club aims to be the best destination for nightlife in Toronto, known for our food, entertainment and excellent customer service,” says executive chef Ivan Bekcic, who cooked across Europe for 18 years and made the 2022 list of Top 30 Under 30 for the Food Services and Hospitality Industry. “It feels good welcoming the city into our home and our staff has years of combined experience to create this unique, exciting location.”
The locally sourced, old school Italian menu — rigatoni and roast chicken, rack of lamb and risotto — bursts with the kinds of indulgent mains that are synonymous with luxury and the drink card is equally stacked. The other night, sampling the wares, we enjoyed a 48 oz triple AAA black angus long bone rib steak and umpteen glasses of Her Majesty’s Pleasure, strawberries and jalapeno, syrup, Cointreau and tequila.
But that’s just part of the evening. Because after dinner, while seemingly two-thirds of the restaurant orders bottles, and the DJ comes on, the steakhouse feels closer to the King Street dance clubs than a restaurant and that’s the reason why the young clientele comes dressed like tonight was the Oscars.
We tried the sea bass and the fried calamari, but in the morning, the image that lingered in my head was the dance floor — feeling like Drake or The Weeknd might return home any time. If you’re looking for a meal and then some, a trip away without a trek to the airport, Empire Supper Club is a welcome addition to the the King West strip.