Bar Raval is a 21st-century response to Spanish Art Nouveau design. The brainchild of celebrated Canadian chef Grant van Gameren and wunderkind mixologists Mike Webster and Robin Goodfellow, Raval introduces Toronto to the “pintxo” bar—a tapas-style bar that is a cornerstone of social and gastronomic culture in northern Spain. Carefully hewn from what look like unbroken Mobius strips of sinuous mahogany, the interior design is fundamentally corporeal. In a stand-up-only environment, the rippled—and rippling—surfaces encourage patrons to get comfortable, lean into their soft edges, and become a part of the woodwork. Raval’s molten quality fosters fluid circulation and close encounters, honouring the spirit of its Spanish pintxo counterparts. Its sculptural aesthetic is also intended to mirror muscle tissue. In fact, it pays direct homage to the tattooed physicality of the three owners.
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