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Introducing: Boots ‘n Bourbon, a country-western saloon in Riverdale from the owners of Rock Lobster

Introducing: Boots ‘n Bourbon, a country-western saloon in Riverdale from the owners of Rock Lobster
(Image: Gizelle Lau)

Name: Boots ‘n Bourbon Saloon Neighbourhood: South Riverdale Contact Info: 725 Queen St. E., 647-348-0880, @BootsBourbon
Owners: Rock Lobster owners Matt Dean Pettit and Matt Coulter; Kee to Bala owner Mike Homewood; and Nav Sangha, who also owns Wrongbar and  The Great Hall on Queen West Food: Matt Dean Pettit

The Place: One of two line-dancing locales to open in Toronto within the span of a week (the other is Rock ’n Horse Saloon, on Adelaide Street). The Queen East space, formerly home to Riverside Public House, has been outfitted with all the components of a country-western saloon: horseshoe-shaped bar, plaid-shirted waitstaff and even a mechanical bull. A small stage at the back hosts country-themed acts like Alberta-based singer Brett Kissel, who played on opening night.

The Food: Southern-style bar snacks, like fried beer cheese, deep-fried pickles and chili. Chicken comes two ways—beer-can or fried—and ‘po boys are stuffed with catfish, Cajun shrimp or spiced lobster.

The Drinks: Bourbon cocktails and novelty drinks, like the 32-ounce Stampeder, a beer-based cocktail that comes in a giant boot-shaped glass.  The General Lee Caesar blends smoked hickory bitters with beef jerky–infused bourbon, and comes garnished with a pepperette.

The Numbers: • 32 ounces of beer, whiskey, bitters and ginger ale in the Stampeder, which comes in a big glass boot • 25-plus types of bourbon • 1 mechanical bull, available for rides from Monday through Wednesday • 1 slushie machine for boozy cocktails

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