Blua: 395 Keele St, Toronto
Blua is a tapas and cocktail bar run by siblings Ade and Lea, with a menu derived from the flavours and scents from generations of Balkan cooking. Ingredients such as dill, jams, yogurt, and of course Balkan drink of choice, raki, come together in flavourful dishes such as Pomfrit (a take on poutine – fries served with ajvar, green onion, feta cheese, and paprika honey) and cocktails like their Balkan negroni (with honey-infused raki and lavender vermouth) that are unique to Blua. The pair has continued to bring their wonderful and unconventional image to the Junction since 2018.
Blua’s dreamy, nature-chic interior was sculpted by bartender Ade from the building’s sports bar roots. Features such as gorgeous hanging plants and candles that cascade over an industrial-style bar add to the cozy, personal feeling that the restaurant holds dear. Every cocktail and dish served is Instagram-worthy, putting Lea and Ade’s artistic and detail-oriented style on display.
While a cocktail bar may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Keele St., Lea and Ade hope to reshape that image and introduce the kind of foot traffic that we see on Dundas St. W.
Along with the typical bar and restaurant service that the Junction community has welcomed with open arms, Blua hosts private events and parties as well. This has allowed Lea and Ade to connect with the community, and create many memorable nights for people of the Junction and beyond. While COVID-19 has halted private events, Blua’s beautiful patio is currently operating for anyone craving one of their eye-catching cocktails or some time to enjoy Lea and Ade’s warm personalities.
Riley Wiley, Journalism Intern, The Junction BIA
Member of the Month
Our Member of the Month features will shine a light on the businesses within the Junction and allow customers to get to know their neighbours who run the shops in our community. If you are a Junction BIA business interested in sharing your story with us and being featured by The Junction BIA, contact Carol Jolly, Executive Director.