Evelyn Chick's cocktail mastery dazzles at Simpl Things

At Parkdale's Simpl Things, find craft cocktails, wine, beer and two kitchen concepts dishing out delightful bites — Italian by day, Taiwanese by night. 

The evening menu of Taiwanese street food and cocktails at Simpl Things

In life, things aren’t always simple. One minute, it’s business as usual — the next, a pipe bursts and floods your restaurant, just four months after opening. “It was raining, like Niagara Falls. Inside,” recalls Evelyn Chick, the owner of Simpl Things, a cozy day-to-night cocktail and snack bar in Parkdale.

Chick wasn’t about to let a “little bit of a hiccup” dampen her spirits. “The next thing you know, we’re ripping out ceilings. I’m re-upholstering chairs. The team came together and did what needed to be done,” she beams. Simpl Things triumphantly reopened just 10 days later.

This bounceback is a testament to Chick and her scrappy team, which includes chefs Cody Wilkes and Betty Chia. The three complete each other: Wilkes handles the a.m. and afternoon menu of Italian eats and weekend brunch, Chia the p.m., with Taiwanese street food. Meanwhile, Chick maestros the mixology.

The Simpl Things team: chefs Cody Wilkes and Betty Chia, and owner Evelyn Chick

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., enjoy special daytime cocktails like the bubbly Spritz O'Clock or Simpl Mimosa. I find the evening, though, is where Chick's cocktail mastery dazzles. Concoctions like the Melon Baller and Figget About It are booze-forward twists on classics; Gold Crush and Queen Cobbler are colourful and lively, inspired by the vintage-Miami interior. “This is what I would pour my friends if they were over for drinks,” she remarks, making me realize I need more friends like Evelyn Chick.

Malik Deluy, head bartender at Simpl Things

From hand-picking the decor to designing the entire space, Chick has put so much of herself into the Parkdale haunt. “This is our home that we’re welcoming you to,” she says with a grin. With endless warmth, good vibes and positivity, it feels just like it — and we’d love to stay awhile.

Simpl Things: The vibe

With two intimate dining rooms, an open kitchen and a snug bar, Simpl Things is understated, casual and immeasurably cool. Trendy music, walls painted with funky pops of pastel and glowing acrylic shelves lined with liquor set the perfect scene for knocking back delicious tipples. It’s the staff that make Simpl Things feel like a friend, though — like Malik Deluy, the head bartender who always asks you about your day even while clack-a-lacking dual-wield shakers behind the bar.

The daytime menu and cocktails at Simpl Things

Simpl Things: The menus

Simpl Things features two distinct kitchens under one roof. While the sun is up, chef Cody Wilkes pairs Italian comfort food with refreshing day drinks.

At night, chef Betty Chia dishes out Taiwanese street food, and drinks are jacked with the Classics Reinvented and Colours of Simpl cocktail menus.

Cherry Pop! cocktail recipe

What do you get when you cross a cherry cola with a spiced mule? A Cherry Pop! with notes of spice and everything nice.

Cherry Pop! cocktail recipe from Simpl Things


  • 1 ½ oz Havana Club 7 Year
  • ½ oz Cynar
  • ¾ oz tart cherry juice
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters


Combine Havana Club, Cynar, cherry juice and lime juice in a tall collins glass; fill with ice. Stir to dilute, adding more ice if necessary. Top with ginger beer. Add Angostura bitters.