At 1 Snooker Street in the heart of Toronto’s Liberty Village sits The Academy of Spherical Arts. The buildings history is an interesting one: in 1905 the Brunswick Balke Collender Company bought the building and began manufacturing billiard tables, cues, balls and all manner of accessories. In 1910 the company bought Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer of billiard tables, the Samuel May Company, making them the undisputed king of Canadian billiards. In September of 1991, the Academy of Spherical Arts opened with what is now the Samuel May Room. The facility was expanded in 1995 with the building of the John Brunswick Room, and again in 1997 with the Georges Chenier Room. As a millennium project, in the fall of 1999, the Academy undertook the construction of its newest addition, La Belle Époque. Today, the Academy occupies 20,000 square feet, approximately one sixth of the old factory.
The interior really does show off this buildings rich history. Beautiful art hangs throughout the interior on exposed brick, snooker and billiard tables a plenty are found throughout the space as are several antiqued bars. This place is an ideal spot for a business meeting, casual uppity drink with a friend or more grand scale launch parties or weddings.
I had a business meeting here and gobbled up a delicious bowl of French Onion Soup and the BEST Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich I have ever tasted. The sandwich featured thick slices of smoked meat (think ham steak thick not that puny shaved crap so many restaurants are known for serving) with a delicious dijon garlic mayo and maple smoked cheddar cheese. Accompanied by a wee side caesar. The food was delicious and I wish I had not been on the job or I would have consumed a few pints and smashed a few billiard balls across the room.
I spent my second visit here with the every so lovely Arlene Setacci on a rainy April lunch hour. We both ordered their creamy ceasar salad and two sandwiches with sweet potato fries. I had the thinly sliced prime rib sandwich served hot with our own smoky bbq sauce on crisp ciabatta and Arlene ate the grilled jerk chicken wrap with fresh mango lettuce tomato and a curry mayo Yum!
#22 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.