Frog and Firkin the latest Firkin pub to get the “Cool Britannia” treatment
Over the weekend, the Frog and Firkin at Yonge and Sheppard relaunched as The Frog, the latest in a series of rebrandings by the Firkin Group with a “Cool Britannia” theme. The new and improved Firkins—including the Bull at Yonge and Davisville, the Quail in Rosedale, the Goose on Leslie and the Owl in Markham—all feature a swinging-’60s mod decor (courtesy of Mackay Wong) with anglophile touches like maps of the London Underground and, yes, Union Jack sofas. There’s also a refreshed menu and new cocktails, some clearly British (a Pimm’s Cup) and some less so (Bourbon Julep). The 25-year-old chain, though popular, is often dismissed as offering ersatz mass-market renditions of the traditional English watering hole. With these relaunches, it’s finally catching up to the wave of more upscale pubs in Toronto that began a few years back with the launch of The Queen and Beaver and Ceili Cottage, and continues today with places like The Oxley (our lunch pick today) and John and Sons (see our September column for more). These revamps probably won’t attract diehard devotees of English food and drink, but they will at the very least keep Toronto’s pub behemoth vaguely on-trend.