By Carla Warrilow Posted September 16, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT
TORONTO Exclusive late-night lounges were predominant at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, and many of the celebrities and media personalities in town chose to end their nights at these intimate and secretive lounges, rather than the high-profile events. Here's a look at four of the biggest iterations.
1. The Grey Goose Soho House pop-up lounge was packed with celebrities from September 9 through Monday. The lounge took over a multilevel warehouse near the TIFF Bell Lightbox, filled with comfortable couches and chairs, a dance floor, and a top-floor rec room complete with three ping-pong tables. A-list guests such as George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, and Rachel Weisz sipped on Canadian-inspired specialty cocktails like the Northern Starlet, the Toronto Tower, and Le Fizz. Andrea Cavaliere, executive chef of U.S. Soho House locations, prepared dishes like mushroom risotto and beef tartare with black truffle. The lounge was home to many TIFF events, including an Ides of March cocktail party, a private dinner for Ten Year cast members, and a multilevel, Harvey Weinstein-helmed party.
2. Hospitality brand Nikki Beach partnered with AMC this year to host La Terrace, an exclusive rooftop lounge at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Decked in the brand’s signature white, the lounge was strictly invite-only reserved for Nikki Beach regulars, members of the film industry, and the media. The venue was open from September 8 through Monday, until 4 a.m. each night, hosting private industry parties and a La Perla fashion show. The lounge served lunch, dinner, and late-night items, catered by Oliver & Bonacini, who worked with Nikki Beach’s chef in Saint-Tropez to design the menu.
3. Michael Achenbaum of Gansevoort Hotel Group promised to bring the hotel’s “signature New York vibe” to TIFF with the Goodnight Gansevoort V.I.P. lounge. The after-hours lounge set up shop on Friday and Saturday at Goodnight, a speakeasy style bar in an alley off of Richmond Street. “We tried to keep everything low-key and to keep with the feel of the space,” said Emily Blake, account manager at Siren Communications, the PR firm that does Canadian PR for the Gansevoort Hotel Group and helped organize the event. Sponsor products like Moët, 5 Gum, and Vitaminwater were on display throughout the venue, and Gansevoort provided its invite-only guests with a chauffeur service to and from the lounge.
4. Toro magazine returned to TIFF for a second year, hosting Toro After Dark on September 9 and Saturday night at the recently closed Ame, with about 300 guests attending each night. On September 9, Toro again paired up with Artists for Peace and Justice to raise funds for communities in Haiti. Artists for Peace was going to have its own after-hours lounge this year, but there wasn’t enough time to pull everything together. “In the end, we decided to do what we did last year. It was really successful,” said Andrea Cooper, account executive at NKPR, the firm that handles the publicity for both events. Toro covers hung from the back wall, and video projections of the red carpet looped on the walls above the bar. Visa, Skyy, Vhernier, Perrier, and Fiji sponsored the lounge.