TORONTO Restaurateur Hanif Harji (Nyood, Kultura) is preparing to open two new event spaces—the Bar at Nyood, and Chapelfor. Construction is currently under way on the Nyood bar, which is set to open above Nyood in early April. The space, being designed by Commute Home, will hold 150 people. Harji plans to operate the venue as a private event space during the week, and will open the lounge to the public on weekends. “Everything is going to be custom designed, from the lounge seating to the light fixtures,” he said in an interview. “We're going to keep it upscale.”
Harji is also planning to turn the 180-year-old former women's prison chapel in Liberty Village into a multilevel restaurant and event space called Chapelfor. “We are going to do some great landscaping outside, and the main floor will have a beautiful patio with trees and cobblestones. It will be a casual space, no reservations,” Harji said, noting the second level will be a “hip” reservation-only dining room, and the third floor will house 2,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space. “We're just in the process of working with the heritage board,” said Harji, who expects to open Chapelfor in the spring of 2010.