Locally Grown: Massoud Abbasi
Massoud Abbasi is out to make Toronto a global hub, one party at a time. RBC financial banker by day, event planner by night, Massoud is a high class Torontonian not because he lives in a chic downtown condo or because he can be spotted in Yorkville on a Saturday night. His most tantalizing feature is his passion for the city.
After hosting exclusive parties at his condo last year, Massoud noticed that there was high demand for “Mad Men” style venues in Toronto. Hence, Omega Group was born; a company dedicated to bringing high class events to Toronto’s influential professionals. Massoud’s focus was to create a luxurious, Toronto-centric brand with an emphasis on networking. We sat down with him for an exclusive interview.
What are your thoughts on Toronto's club scene?
Toronto's club scene is standard fare. It does not yet boast the extras that make a night out special, like live Jazz music or complimentary glasses of champagne, which are prominent at other hot spots around the world. I think the biggest flaw of the Toronto club scene is the lack of a sense of class and service within the madness of the club business. Queues are still too long, bouncers are still not friendly, overcrowding is an issue, and guests are not treated with real genuineness. Toronto boasts an apt and decent club space, but it is hardly something to talk about. I reckon that this model is old for this new and burgeoning city. Right now, the trend is towards specifically tailored events, such as the ones Omega Group, and others like DivaGirls Entertainment, are putting on. In my opinion, is the future of Toronto's nightlife is within the confines of a more developed and hybrid club space.
What is your favorite space/venue for events?
Toronto has a significant amount of beautiful, unique spaces that are simply unknown or unutilized, and it is my intent with Omega Group to bring them out to the public. We built our brand around The Carlu, which I would say is the finest and most elegant space in Toronto. We launched here to convey what the Omega Group brand was about; it is not your everyday venue, but for Soirees of the type we put on, it is truly spectacular. In terms of venues downtown, I'm a big fan of Nyood (one of our prominent partners). Not only is the decor mild but ambient, the downstairs restaurant and lounge boasts phenomenal food and service. As well, a place I definitely plan on hosting Omega Group Soirees in the future is the Windsor Arms Hotel in Yorkville. It is small, quaint and not pretentious, but maintains a unique old charm and flair.
Where do you enjoy the best drinks in town?
Truthfully, my favorite spot, and one that remains relatively obscure and hidden, is the rooftop lounge of the Hyatt Hotel in Yorkville. It is small, private, and full of old English Walnut furniture. Its charming rooftop boasts perhaps the best view in Toronto. The prices are in the upper range, but for their great Old Fashioned, as well as spectacular ambience and quality, it is well worth it!
What is your next project in Toronto?
I will continue to develop Omega Group into Toronto's leading luxury and lifestyle brand, as well as an Executive Social and Entertainment Organization. We have our eyes set on becoming the next Liberty Group for the 'new' Toronto within the next 3-5 years. We will also continue to put on our exclusive and upscale bi-monthly Social Soirees, with the next slated during TIFF. My ultimate goal for Omega Group is to truly change this city and finally help it find its identity once and for all. I believe this city's time has come, for it to be spoken of the in same breath and tone as world class cities like New York or London. There are great people here doing a lot of great work to make sure it will happen, and everyone at the Omega Group is doing their part.
Which neighborhoods have the most potential?
I think the East End is the next hotspot. Anywhere off of Queen St between Jarvis and Broadview to Carlaw is really beginning to see a lot of development and growth; new restaurants, new bars, and a very cool, comfortable ambience. I think in 5 years, Queen East will be the new Queen West. However, Queen West continues to grow as well and stretch further west, creating something new and chic. I think Queen West may well replace King West as the new “it” spot, in terms of good food and chic bars. I also think Liberty Village is currently the hottest space in Toronto because the growth and change is remarkable. With it will come a new and unique community that boasts downtown cool and uptown leisure.
Make sure you stop by Nyood Restaurant and Bar this Saturday for the one year anniversary of the Omega Group. Ladies are free all night and will receive a complimentary glass of champagne.
Nyood, 1096 Queen St. West