2023 14-2 April Business

New name, same dedication to inclusive fun: The Gold Bar Lounge

By Danial Pujdak

The Gold Bar Lounge (formerly Il Perugino Caffè & Bar), which recently opened its doors at 277 Dalhousie Street, is filled with familiar faces for Lowertown residents. Long-time locals include owner John Marcarelli, who founded the restaurant’s previous incarnation located in the same spot.

Marcarelli felt like Il Perugino, a beloved neighbourhood bar and café, needed a post-COVID facelift.
After summer-time renovations, Marcarelli’s new concept feels very different from its predecessor. The Gold Bar Lounge is true to its name: it’s a lounge, complete with comfortable couches and armchairs alongside high-top coffee tables and stools. And yes, the walls have been painted gold.

“It’s something that feels like home for me,” said Marcarelli, who described the new concept as a mix between a social club and a visit to Europe.

Some things have not changed. Marcarelli is steadfastly committed to the quality of his food and drinks, and to maintaining an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere for patrons. The Gold Bar Lounge features exceptional homemade pizzas and pastas. A visit for dinner feels exactly like a welcoming family affair. Marcarelli’s parents mingle with customers, his mother, Paola Maiorani, ensuring the food consistently meets her high standards for Italian cooking and his father, Paolo Marcarelli, contributing to their laughter and conversations.

When designing the new concept, Marcarelli wanted to emphasize the “interaction between the client, the owner, the bartender and the cook.”

“I want people to feel wanted and important,” said Marcarelli, who frequently circulates between tables and couches. Marcarelli beams with pride when he describes the new concept as “a place with authentic good food, very very good cocktails and a friendly environment where everyone is welcome and can have fun.”

Patrons will agree that Marcarelli has every reason to kvell. The atmosphere is diverse, eclectic even, and very welcoming across age groups and cultures. The Gold Bar Lounge is open every day except Sunday and Monday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the summer the restaurant will be open from 12p.m. to 2 a.m. every day except Monday.

Every second Tuesday is karaoke night and there are DJs after dinner hours each Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
We at the Echo wish Mr. Marcarelli well in his new restaurant. This writer, for one, will be visiting it often.

A visit for dinner feels exactly like a welcoming family affair.