"As soon as the current menu is complete, we’re already working on the next menu because it takes a lot of time, and a lot of thought goes into each drink,” says Rob Granicolo, co-owner of Cry Baby Gallery.
The Dundas Street West art gallery, which backs onto a hidden speakeasy bar, opened at the end of 2019 and has been wowing Torontonians with their complex concoctions ever since. There isn’t much by way of a food program here — just a snack plate — and cocktails, done really well. But creating an ever-changing menu of hits isn’t easy.
“We’re just trying to one-up ourselves every menu and it causes a great deal of stress and mental panic,” Granicolo says, laughing. “Nothing is ever complete the first time, it’s always days, weeks. Some cocktails, we’re like, ‘how are we still working on this?’”
As a starting point, Granicolo and the bar team like to riff off classic cocktails to help come up with their new serves.
Rob Granicolo, co-owner of Cry Baby Gallery
“I love our espresso martini, the Woodbridge Athletic Club. It slaps. It’s got that minty espresso. It has that freshness to it. And it’s also packed full of caffeine,” he says. The quirky name comes from joking around with a friend.
“A lot of Italian people are from Woodbridge. It’s not even a stereotype, it’s just a census fact, at this point. And we thought it’d be funny to pay homage to something that everyone is familiar with, but no one really represents in Toronto. So why don’t we not play off of Italy for once and play off of our local Italian community here? And then when you see people come from the GTA, they’re like ‘that’s really cute.’ We like that. It’s got the right amount of pizzazz to it.”
Between the rotating art in the gallery and the changing menu of innovative cocktails, Cry Baby is definitely a bar with pizzazz.