Next target in city’s war on fun: West Queen West

Next target in city’s war on fun: West Queen West

Sound and fury: many are irked by the loud revellers in West Queen West (Image: 416style) 

There was the moratorium on new restaurants on Ossington, the end of community pizza nights at Christie Pits and the brouhaha over Ici Bistro because teenage gangs were attracted to J.P. Challet’s croissants. Now the Star is reporting that West Queen West is a hotbed of hooligans because places like The Drake are serving more booze than food (somehow, this is news). Customers leaving these establishments are noisy and have a penchant for “public urination and vomiting,” says the paper. It’s an old neighbourhood issue that has flared up again, with local councillors Adam Giambrone and Gord Perks wondering if the city should cap the number of bars on Queen West. There’s just one problem: technically, Toronto has no bars.

The city doesn’t have a separate classification for bars or “taverns,” since the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario made it mandatory for establishments that serve alcohol to provide food back in the early ’90s. The result: the line between a restaurant that serves alcohol and a bar that serves food is as blurred as a trendster’s vision when he stumbles out of the Double Deuce.

The concerned councillors say they want the city to come up with bylaws to limit the number of bars in a neighbourhood—some residents signed a petition to that effect last year. If they want to, they’d better be quick: The Savoy, a new watering hole, just opened. Plus, three condo complexes are going up fast along the strip. All those new residents are going to need somewhere to drink.

When is a restaurant really just a bar? [Toronto Star]