Sweet Libations - The No Name Bar

Nestled amongst a string of trendy bars on Parc Avenue, Joseph Heskia and Vanessa Benaroch’s bar – one with no official name, but often referred to as The Emerald and Le Vaisseau Vert – has become a Mile End landmark.

By Bianca Taylor

Upon entering the bar, patrons are lured by a dazzling mix of new and old world charm. In the front stand wooden tables, wicker chairs, and a number of lush potted plants. Once you walk past the arch that divides the bar, you’re quickly transported into the Orient.  The well-curated space, with low-slung velvet sofas and intricate Moroccan lamps, was designed by Heskia himself. He is no stranger to crafting captivating spaces; his former bar La Panthère Noire is an example of this. It’s no surprise that his penchant for design has inspired him to team up with Axel Cohen in yet another business venture.The duo is in the process of launching a new project: the design and conceptualization of commercial spaces.

Joseph’s aesthetic, especially at The Emerald, makes you feel like you’ve gained access to a prestigious clubhouse – without the pretentiousness.  “I try to create places that are timeless, so that they won’t go out of style,” says Heskia. This philosophy governs every aspect of the bar, from the staff’s strict black tie dress code, which Heskia describes as “a piece of theatre,” to a carefully selected menu of classic drinks.  “We had the vision of creating a place where we would only serve classic cocktails. Most of them have existed since the late 19th to the mid 20th century.” Heskia preserves this lineage by ensuring consistency; every drink is prepared in a methodical and exact manner. As we watched the bartender meticulously craft our Old Fashioned, we began to understand why it’s been touted as the best in town.