Last Thursday, June 21, art and drink enthusiasts united in the back room of Mercer Union (37 Lisgar Street) where artist Dean Baldwin was serving drinks from the teensiest bar in the city. The installation was called Minibar, which did double duty as a performance piece and beverage catering for the opening night of the gallery’s exhibition, Seducing Down The Door.
The “building” was a mere 3×3 metres2 with a stooped doorway and ceiling. Baldwin played barkeep in front of a back bar rail stocked entirely with mini bottles of Jack Daniel’s, Crown Royal, Gordon’s Gin, Amaretto, Malibu, Campari—most of your favourite tipples. Cocktails were poured from a mini shaker into mini glasses, and Coronita was the beer of choice. Occasionally, Baldwin would pull an oversize bottle of Bacardi White from beneath the counter for frozen daiquiris, a move that usually drew a loud “whooaaaah!” from the bar’s cramped patrons.
According to Mercer Union’s press release, Baldwin constructed the mini bar with the intention of creating “a welcoming but somewhat claustrophobic Alice in Wonderland environment. When Torontoist asked how long it took to build the collection of mini bar paraphernalia, Baldwin replied that it only took a 24-day trip to Europe. “To the mini countries,” he explained, “Luxembourg, Lichtenstien, Andorra, San Remo, Monaco and…uh…Vatican City.”
Maybe Alice fared better after her trip through the looking glass, but our hangover the next day was definitely more than mini.
Check out more photos of Minibar after the break.
Photos by Karen Whaley