Name that Saloon: West Queen West gets a new bar by the Harbord Room boys
In a powerhouse collaboration to rival The Saint’s roster, the Harbord Room’s owner (David Mitton, also of Czehoski), chef (Cory Vitiello) and designer (Brad Denton, of Petit Castor) are teaming up with West-coast hospitality import Jeff Salvian (Kicking Horse Resort) to open a bar on Queen. Though their spot—1168 Queen Street West—is sandwiched between two buzzing hipster hives (the Drake and the Gladstone), the yet-to-be named tavern will aim to replicate the laid-back feel of its former incarnation, The Cock and Tail. Says Mitton: “It’s going to be a nice little dirty dive bar.”Inspiration comes from relaxed, mixed-bag bars like Vancouver’s El Furniture Warehouse or Calgary’s Ship and Anchor where “you see people in suits or Converse and skinny jeans,” says Salvian, “I want it to become a fabric of the neighbourhood.” The team is getting a good start on the inclusive culture with an open call to christen the spot. Some 280 entries have already been posted to their “name our bar” Facebook contest. The winner will score a $1,000 tab at the bar.
Though the foursome got the spot only a week ago, they’re planning on opening in early July in order to lure pint-craving masses onto the back patio. There will be a dozen draft picks, and the drinks list will look like an even more classics-oriented version of Czehoski’s. The food will be cheap—salads, sandwiches, wings and rings for around $10—but with Vitiello behind the menu, it won’t be average bar bites. Of the overall feel, Silvian says: “It’s gonna be a fun place to come and get crazy. We’re not reinventing the wheel.”