A firm believer in « venture communism », Shamez loves to create situations where strangers can meet and sees a bar as a community centre and small business as the cornerstone of urban culture.
Soon after opening bohemian bistro La Palette in 2000, Shamez instigated Pedestrian Sundays in Toronto’s Kensington Market where cars were replaced with live music, art, dance and food.
Now Queen Street West is home to Amlani’s latest offspring, Drom Taberna, an Eastern European tavern with world music at its heart. You are as likely to find a Klezmer jam session, Balkan brass workshop or Brazilian folk dance class as you would be to listen to a New Orleans brass band.
These venues have survived a global pandemic without the advantage of property ownership. Creating a sustainable climate for indépendant business is key to our future as a cultural destination for tourists, locals and the arts community.