Holt Renfrew Reveals a New Design at its Flagship Restaurant

Holt Renfrew’s flagship restaurant, Holts Café, is now open with a complete new look and menu. The modern and sophisticated space was designed by Alex Cochrane Architects and provides a contemporary Canadian menu by Executive Chef Benjamin Lillico.

Holts Cafe Storefront. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.
Holts Cafe Main Entrance. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.

Tasked with envisioning the next iteration of the much-celebrated Holts Café, Cochrane looked towards international restaurant destinations and created a signature space.

The restaurant includes a large dining room and bar, a lounge, and a private dining suite for events and celebrations.

Holts Cafe Private Dining Suite. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.
Holts Cafe Lounge. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.

New 20-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows designed by Toronto’s Gensler bring an abundance of natural light into the space, giving guests views onto Bloor Street.

These windows, coupled with Cochrane’s concept for an open café design, also allow natural light into the recently renovated women’s footwear department beyond.

Holts Cafe Lobby. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.
Holts Cafe East Dining Room. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.

A palette of white oak, rosewood, off-white terrazzo, and rich brass provides a timeless framework to the vibrant blue, red, yellow, and green jewel-toned accents in the furniture and design features.

“Our brief was to take this iconic location and transform it into a social space that evolves from day into the evening,” says Alex Cochrane, Architect of Holts Café Bloor Street. “We leveraged the natural light and introduced design elements of saturated colour to add a playful dynamic against the warmer tones of wood and leather. We felt it was important to divide the space into four rooms creating intimate dining spaces, each with its own atmosphere.”

The new menu, created by Executive Chef Benjamin Lillico, pays homage to Holts Café classics like the BLT Salad and the Holts Steak Frites with a fresh and simplistic approach. Both returning and new Holts guests will also discover Chef Lillico’s new seasonal favourites, including a plant-based Organic Carrot Tart and Seafood Tagliatelle.

“I’m thrilled to be launching the Holts Café flagship alongside an incredible team at Holt Renfrew and I cannot wait for everyone to try this new menu,” says Chef Benjamin. “My vision is to create contemporary Canadian dishes while remaining focused on sustainability, quality ingredients, locality, and seasonality.”

The café will additionally offer an expanded weekend brunch, afternoon tea from Monday to Friday, and daily evening dinner service.

Holts Cafe Bar. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.
Holts Cafe Dining Room. Photo Credit: Holt Renfrew.