Introducing: Drift Bar, Bloor and Dufferin’s affordable new hangout

Introducing: Drift Bar, Bloor and Dufferin’s affordable new hangout

Follow their Drift: Matt Michrowski and Damian Gaughan's new Bloor West bar (Image: Jon Sufrin)

Bloordale? Dufferin Grove? Blandsdowne? Dovercourt Park? The local boundaries may be in dispute, but the area is on the rise. Two years ago, the list of hangout options near Bloor and Dufferin looked like this: dive bar, Portuguese dive bar, dive bar, Disgraceland. Then came 3 Speed and Holy Oak, Starving Artist and Calico—edgy places that toy with the concept of “dive” without actually being uninviting.

Joining the fray now is Drift. When partners Matt Michrowski and Damian Gaughan were setting up the bar for its grand opening last week, they did what any good bar owners on Ossington or Dundas West would have done: they went antiquing. Key finds include vintage church pews, bowling alley wood for the bar top and a dilapidated, barely intact cigarette billboard from the 1920s that was fished from the bottom of a river.

The presence of reclaimed wood often means a bigger tab at the bar, but Drift sticks to dive bar prices: pints are $5, and a shot of Macallan 12-year sits pretty at $8.50. A Quebec-heavy beer selection (including McAuslan apricot wheat, Blanche de Chambly and La Fin du Monde) is topped off with a rotating soup-and-sandwich-oriented menu. The sandwiches—one creation includes prosciutto, melon and aged cheddar ($7)—are made with bread baked in house. For those looking to snack, sweet potato frites with lemon curry yogurt dip are $4.

An eclectic soundtrack is heavy on the jazz and funk, and a schedule of DJ nights is in the works. In other words, Drift fits in perfectly with the other hipster-approved watering holes just a few blocks from its front door.

Drift Bar, 1063 Bloor St. W., 647-352-5335.