Introducing: The Bristol Yard, a bit of Britain down by Christie Pits
The Bristol Yard is a new British-style cafe (that’s pronounced “caf,” not “café”) which opened a couple of weeks ago halfway between Christie Pits and Fiesta Farms. The restaurant has taken over the long-dilapidated corner space at Christie and Pendrith Streets (you can still see it on Google street view), and aims to serve “working-class food for working-class people,” which means fish and chips and many varieties of meat pies.
The interior was built by owners Davy Love (who’s also the chef) and Cal Hager and boasts warm wooden floors and black tables with white benches fashioned from old church pews sourced from a church in Kingston. On the walls, black-and-white photos of British, Scottish, Irish and Welsh actors, chefs, musicians, authors and artists peer down on diners. At the counter, there are (savoury) pies on sale for takeout near a 1939 cash register from the King Edward Hotel, bought at auction.
In the kitchen, Love and sous-chef Ansonn Bryant pride themselves on their all-homemade menu, from the sausages to the pies, and hope to tell a story with each dish (as you can see on the menu). The sausages ($10 each) range from English bangers (pork) to Cumberland (beef), chipolata (pork) and even vegetarian, and come served with mash (i.e., mashed potatoes) or chips (i.e., fries). They’re also available battered. Holding pride of place on the menu, however, are the pies, including steak, ale and mushroom ($10), chicken tikka masala ($10) and Melton Mowbray ($12), all served with mushy peas or salad and chips or mash. To finish, there’s banoffee pie, warm treacle tart and Eccles cakes ($5 each). While there’s no liquor, there is a selection of specially imported U.K. soft drinks like Irn-Bru, Lilt, Vimto, Tizer and Shandy Bass ($2each). There’s also brunch on weekends (homemade scones, crumpets and other heavy English breakfast staples), and a Sunday evening roast, when the pies are replaced by roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables, salad and mash, served with a drink and sticky toffee pudding for $20.
The Bristol Yard, 146 Christie St., 647-716-6583, Facebook page