never sleeps. On an average day he leaves before eight in the morning and doesn’t stop until the sun is
starting to rise again. But who would expect this entrepreneur to slow down anytime soon? He is the owner of
eight clubs, bars and restaurants, and the founder of marketing and promotional company INK Entertainment.
Even with a long list of accomplishments on his resumé, he is always looking for more ventures to invest his
time and talents in.
Upcoming projects include a French-style brasserie — a one-of-a-kind eatery and the only Yorkville restaurant on Bloor Street with a patio, opening this fall. Plus, another joint venture with Liberty Entertainment Group (INK’s current partner in Tattoo Rock Parlour and Spice Route) sees the re-opening of The Coral Gables Country Club next spring.
Before putting each plan in motion, Khabouth’s biggest education was found through experience and travel. He recently went to Paris and during five days ate at 32 of the 41 bistros and restaurants recommended for his trip. Similarly, he stayed in three different hotels in three days. The reason? Research and a desire to experience an array of services and surroundings. It’s a desire that has stemmed from a love of architecture and design — as well as his dream of launching a new hotel with partner Lifetime Developments in the heart of downtown Toronto.
“After being in the hospitality business for 27 years, the next big move is to launch a hotel brand that is planned to grow globally,” says Khabouth. Four years ago, Lifetime Developments — involved in some of the city’s most notable addresses including Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto, M5V and X2 Condos — approached Khabouth with their plans for a hotel-condominium, and the initial concept for Bisha was born. “For me, this partnership was like graduating,” he explains.
Since then, Lifetime and Khabouth have been working to create Bisha Hotel and Residences, a $150-million project, where Khabouth will feel right at home, as Bisha is his childhood nickname. “It’s a dream come true for me,” says Khabouth.
He elaborates: “By putting our combined experience into one property and including two bars, two restaurants, a 24-hour café, 7,000-square-foot rooftop patio, and an infinity pool overlooking the city, while delivering great service and suite layouts, we are creating a lifestyle property.” This hotel lifestyle concept was prevalent 30 to 40 years ago. Khabouth explains these amenities were the hub of entertainment, where hotels housed the hottest restaurant and bar. Progressively, new hotels are returning to the lifestyle concept to offer excitement rather than just hotel rooms, and to provide infrastructure that suite owners and the public will enjoy.
Bisha’s lifestyle amenities, services and design will motivate people to want to be part of a certain culture. “We want the design to be timeless, have a bit of an edge and yet have the comfort of a real place to live,” says Khabouth. “The minute people walk in and drop their bags we want them to feel they’re at home…] That’s what INK and Lifetime are creating.”
In this 41-storey building, condominium suites will be located from the 10th to 39th floors. Both the residences and the general vibe of the hotel will have a fresh, light scheme. The hotel floors and rooms will have more of an edge to them in terms of design, while remaining very comfortable. Two of the hotel floors will have unique concepts. A rock-and-roll theme will be featured in one, where the design will be darker, edgier, and have lots of chrome and exotic fabrics. The other floor will merge high fashion with Hollywood style. Its design will be more airy, bright and classic.
Located at 56 Blue Jays Way, just south of King Street West, the Bisha Hotel and Residences Presentation Centre and model suite are opening soon. They embody the partners’ commitment to delivering the Bisha lifestyle, and will be home to many great events. •