Just Opened: Camp 4, the Ossington alternative

Just Opened: Camp 4, the Ossington alternative

Turn off your bright lights: Camp 4 (Image: Jon Sufrin) 

When the Ossington strip is too packed to go bar-hopping (or even to open new bars), it’s time to spread the party elsewhere. For the owners of Camp 4—named after a rock-climbing base camp at Yosemite—that means Dundas West: close enough to still be part of the Ossington scene, but far enough away to give hipsters some breathing room.

Camp 4 is a bar in transition as it tries to accomplish the not-so-small task of differentiating itself from such nearby hot spots as the Communist’s Daughter and the Dakota Tavern. An ardent dedication to simplicity permeates, right down to the cocktail menu. Patrons can sip three takes on the old-fashioned (bourbon, rum or tequila, $13), while the whiskey-heavy liquor selection is refreshingly free of anything fluorescent. “There’s not going to be any Hpnotiq,” says co-owner Joseph Tanner. “No blue drinks.”

True to Ossington style, old is gold at Camp 4. The bar top is made of wood planks reclaimed from Mennonite barns, with seating in the form of vintage bowling benches and school chairs. The lighting is kept ambient with 100-year-old, hand-spun lampshades of translucent milk glass.

Local favourites are on tap, including Beau’s, Stonewall Light Lager and Michael Duggan Number 9. DJs spin anything from doo-wop to glam rock to chillwave. The goal is to create a comfortable, attitude-free and ruggedly simple vibe. Just don’t expect any Smirnoff Ice.

Camp 4, 1173 Dundas St. W., 416-546-6780, camp4.ca.