Food & Drink

Best of the City 2010: four top new venues to drink, dance and party

Best of the City 2010: four top new venues to drink, dance and party
Happy campers: Business Woman’s Special (Image: Jay Shuster)

variation on bottle service
1186 Queen St. W., 416-536-7700

A request for bottle service, that ostentatious nightclub cliché, will get you run out of Queen West bars. Mickeys are another story. For $45, groups of 30-somethings decompress at the end of the week with shared bottles of Jack Daniel’s, Jameson and Jäger­meister. Sip from shooter glasses (mixer is for wusses).

gay dance
Business Woman’s Special
Augusta House, 152 Augusta Ave.

If Church and Wellesley is strangely quiet on the second Saturday of the month, that’s because everyone is at this party in Kensington Market. By midnight, the room is a mosh pit of 20-something bearded gays and multiculti lesbians, bumping and grinding to mid-’90s hip-hop classics with some Kesha thrown in. Labatt 50 is the unpretentious drink of choice, and the ironic dress code runs to bow ties, baseball caps and high-tops. $5 cover.

bar for a business meeting
107 King St. E., 416-603-8009

Claudio Aprile’s high-concept restaurant is also an elegant bar serving cocktails potent enough to transform the dullest colleague into the life of the party. A mojito ($12) of Meyer lemon, mint and white rum gets added zip from fresh ginger. If the permits come in, they’ll open a patio with unobstructed sun all afternoon, a rarity downtown.

Duggan’s Brewery
75 Victoria St., 416-214-4900

Proprietor Michael Duggan earned a following as brewmaster at Mill Street, where he was responsible for its Tankhouse ale and organic lager. At his new home, he has a hit with a dark amber India pale ale made with nine varieties of malt. The bar itself is in an airy and elegant 1908 building (the former Strand Hotel), with Duggan’s gleaming beer apparatus the room’s centrepiece. $4.85 a pint.

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