Just Opened: OurHouse, a bar with one of the last licences on Ossington
One of the most valuable slips of paper in the city is a liquor licence for premises on Ossington Avenue, and Anthony Siniscalco has one. The young business owner snagged one of the last permits before the city brought in a year-long moratorium on new Ossington bars last May, and he’s used it to open OurHouse.
The name and the space are meant to evoke “that one great apartment your friend has which always inspires an impromptu party and welcomes about 100 more people than were originally invited,” according to its press materials. Perhaps if that friend is Dirk Diggler. The decor is decidedly ’70s, with deep orange walls, brown leather banquettes, glitzy chandeliers and a nude photo that brings to mind Bond girl glam. Strangely, the soundtrack is from more recent times, with Michael Jackson followed by Men Without Hats followed by Ace of Base.
Siniscalco initially wanted to transform the space (a former hair salon) into a gallery and supper club but instead made his debut with more of a straight-up bar with snacks. For drinks, basic cocktails dominate, with prices about average for the Avenue (a vodka-seven is $5.75). The food has more character, including such items as banana and Nutella on toasted challa ($7) and loot bags ($6) filled with retro candy, like Tootsie Roll Pops, Double Bubble and candy watches that are eaten one sugar bead at a time.
Though we’re glad to see a fresh place on Ossington again, more permanent restrictions on new bars and restaurants announced by the city will likely keep openings few and far between. That means all eyes now move across the street to The Saint, the licensed-but-unopened bar that has been threatening to spring into action for over a year.
OurHouse, 214 Ossington Ave. (at Dundas St. W.), 647-341-4477, ourhousebar.com.