What sparked the idea to transform Avling from a grocery store and canning factory into the Avling Kitchen and Brewery? What’s the backstory? Are there any pieces of the old building still intact?
The building was constructed in the 30s as an A&P grocery, and in the 80s it shifted to become an Asian food wholesaler and bean sprout company. We were drawn to the location because of it’s size, the fact that, given it was a warehouse, it was a blank slate for our architects and designers and because Leslieville seemed like an exciting place to start a restaurant and brewery.
What inspired the interior design of Avling?
The interior of Avling draws heavily on my love of Danish deign. Avling is open, and airy with accents of blonde wood and pink support beams. It makes for a much more inviting and open space as compared to many breweries that lean in to their industrial setting. We have a large circular bar the that anchors the middle of the room. I really wanted to create a place where people would feel comfortable chatting with friends, their bartender and even the patrons sat a little further down the bar from you.
As spring is right around the corner (sort of), what new fresh ingredients can we look for in Avling's Rooftop Garden?
We are working on some really exciting new projects. But my favourite yearly harvest is our garlic crop. We plant about 1000 cloves of garlic in the fall which will yield 800 or so bulbs in late spring. The flavours and variety of garlic available out there is amazing, as we are always sure to plant several different types, some good for grilling, some best for salads and some are even mild enough to have on their own!
If Avling was a flower, what flower would it be?
No question, Marigold. We plant them because they are excellent pollinators. Their roots also protect near by plants from soil borne pathogens like nematodes. Throughout the year, we pick the marigold flowers which encourages more root growth. The dried flowers are then added to my favourite beer, Orpheus. The marigold embodies our circular approach.
If Avling could have one famous (or sentimental) person come to the restaurant, who would it be?
Sentimental, Bourdain. Famous, Donald Glover.
What is the kitchen’s favourite fresh ingredient to harvest from the Rooftop farm!?
The kitchen loves using our tomatoes, though we have a small harvest. Otherwise, our salad greens are so tender and flavourful, it’s a really thing to be able to offer our guests.
Where did the name Avling come from?
Avling is the Norwegian word for crop or harvest. For us, it’s all about our kitchen, farm, and brewery working as one.