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Bar Vendetta Does Wine and Pasta with a Vengeance

Bar Vendetta - Jennifer Agg

Jen Agg has created a “post-’70s, dad-basement vibe” in The Black Hoof’s old space

By Bert Archer
Photography by Worker Bee Supply

Bar Vendetta is all about wine, pasta and… wallpaper. Wallcoverings have become a real focus of interior creativity after decades of niche status, with contemporary companies devising radical new ways to decorate walls. Bar Vendetta’s wallpaper is not that.

Fresh herbs along the wall near the seating area at Bar Vendetta in Toronto
The wallpaper swatches backing the bar shelves and filling in the wainscotting of Jennifer Agg’s latest spot feel DIY, in line with Leemo Han’s Seoul Shakers down the street, which is another self-designed space. Agg’s own design for Bar Vendetta – in the same location as her now-shuttered Black Hoof – is meant to have “sort of a post-’70s, dad-basement vibe,” she says, sharing that most of the finishing touches were found while scouring the internet and her favourite vintage stores.

Interior of Bar Vendetta in Toronto with stools near the bar counter
A massive overhanging wooden structure highlight the counter area at Bar Vendetta.

Thanks in part to a consult with Agg’s Grey Gardens collaborator, Wayback Architects, the bar is less time capsule than stylish homage. Built by Boylan & Barlow Contracting, the curving light wood canopy over the bar (which Agg calls “the monolith”) anchors the space firmly in 2019. Eclectic pendant lighting and an orange, brown and off-white basket-weave pattern on the floor complement the wallpaper swatches, creating a space that’s at once homey and fresh. Which brings us back to the wine and pasta.

Plate with sliced tomatoes with oil of olive

Chef James Stanton’s menu features made-in-house noodles and nachos after midnight, while Jake Skakun’s wine list pulls from a cellar stocked with many privately imported bottles. As for why it’s called Bar Vendetta, Agg – the author of I Hear She’s a Real Bitch – says that while people may see it as a reference to her being not particularly conflict-averse, she just really likes how it sounds. BARVENDETTA.COM

Product on display at Bar Vendetta in Toronto
Products on display at Bar Vendetta.

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