Nicki Laborie is the founder of ViewtheVibe.com as well as owner of the popular Yorkville Mediterranean snack and cocktail bar, Bar Reyna, and the newly opened Reyna at Assembly Chef’s Hall.
Since its inception in 2011, View the Vibe has evolved from a video restaurant guide to an online Canadian publication still offering insights into Toronto restaurants as well as news, food and drink trends, fashion, people, culture and more.
In May 2016, Nicki’s dream of opening a restaurant/bar came true, and Bar Reyna now attracts foodies up to the posh Yorkville neighborhood. Bar Reyna, however, is not exactly posh, channeling a little piece of Queen West and a more casual (and affordable) elegance in Toronto’s fanciest neighborhood.
Not sitting still for long, Nicki joined the myriad of restaurants to be a part of the first Canadian chef’s hall, Assembly, in February 2017. The hall officially opened its doors in January 2018 and Reyna is the Mediterranean outpost at the Richmond Street foodie destination.
Montreal-born to a worldly family, Nicki’s childhood summers were spent in Europe, developing her taste buds. Her mother’s impeccable cooking and her father’s love of wine only further developed her passion for fine dining from an early age.
Starting her food education at Montreal’s LaSalle College, Nicki studied in the Restaurant Management Culinary School program. But being a dancer and a fashion-forward thinker led her to New York City, where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Marketing at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology.
Soon after, Nicki began a powerhouse career in fashion, luxury, and hospitality public relations, fusing her love of food and clothing into her bread and butter. She had the privilege and responsibility of working with top brands like Kenzo, Bottega Veneta, and Mont Blanc; personalities like Chef Charlie Palmer and J Mendel; and events like the Oscars and 7th on 6th Fashion Week. For six years she honed her skills in all areas of fashion, hospitality and marketing, before briefly returning home to Montreal where she continued to freelance in public relations.
Cold winters and a wanderlust ultimately forged Nicki’s next exciting career path: running the impressive 25,000 sq. ft. Bamboo Bernies on the beaches of beautiful St. Maarten. It was only after the restaurant’s property was sold that Nicki arrived in Toronto, where she ran a 150-seat waterfront restaurant on the Humber Shores. Poised for greatness with a 360-degree background in the public relations, marketing, media, and hospitality industries, View the Vibe was the natural progression of her combined experiences.
Today, View the Vibe, Bar Reyna and Reyna are Nicki’s food business passions that keep her ear to the ground about food trends and the latest in the culinary world. Easily bored, Torontonians can expect a 3rd eatery sooner than later.