Now Open: Kissa


TORONTO — Toronto’s King West neighbourhood welcomed an exciting new addition to its vibrant hospitality scene with the opening of Kissa, a Japanese-inspired vinyl-only listening lounge. Pronounced “key-sa,” Kissa is derived from “kissaten,” Japanese-style speakeasy teahouses popular in the 1920s, and mixes Japanese-inspired cuisine with an elevated cocktail program. 

The downstairs floor of Kissa is for the sophisticated crowd looking for an intimate night out and a vinyl-only listening experience — playing nothing released after 2015. The vinyl-powered vintage sound system was custom built by Sounds Better (jojoflores & Mike Oliver). With its built-in DJ booth, impressive 2,500-plus collection vinyl-record wall, ceiling-hung crystal disco balls, textured velvet details, and ambient mood lighting, Kissa offers a truly unique experience. Designed by Victoria Opacak from All In Design and Damon Snider from Type D Living, the ambiance transports guests to a different time and place, creating a memorable and immersive experience that engages all the senses.

Chef Michael Parubocki (Momofuku, Kasa Moto) is Kissa’s director of Culinary alongside Dylan Sampson (Kiu, Kasa Moto) as head chef. Together, they’ve developed a Japanese-inspired Izakaya-style menu featuring dishes such as shrimp tempura served with a yuzu pepper aioli, wagyu katsu sando and yuzu cheesecake.

Kissa’s Mixology director, Blake Canning (Casa Madera, The Butcher Chef), has crafted an inventive beverage program featuring 18 cocktails named after famous albums, such as “Prince & The Revolution” and “Wildflowers.”

At the end of July, the upstairs open-concept lounge will open with its own DJ booth and bar, along with a private members-only room tucked away for a more intimate experience. The owners of Kissa, Dan Gunam and Vito Tomasicchio, will launch the Goodnight Club, a private members concierge club that will begin at the end of summer, just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The membership will include VIP access to Kissa and Soluna, in addition to exclusive perks, private parties, international festivals and experiences. 

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