Introducing: The Beech Tree, a new gastropub in The Beach from a Toronto Underground Market alum
Name: The Beech Tree
Contact Info: 924 Kingston Rd., 416-699-4444, thebeechtreepub.ca, @thebeechtreepub
Neighbourhood: The Upper Beach
Owner: Robert S. Maxwell, who manned a stall at the Toronto Underground Market in 2011
Chef: Jamie Newman, a former chef at Opus at Bloor and Avenue Road
The Food: The daily-changing menu delivers a mix of standard pub food—sausage rolls, char-grilled brisket burgers—and more complex dishes, like a warm Jerusalem artichoke and grapefruit salad, and pickerel fish cakes with dill crème fraiche.
The Drinks: A simple list of whiskey, small vineyard wines and beers. Come January, classic cocktails will also be available.
The Place: The first-time restaurateur enlisted family and friends to help revamp the narrow room (formerly a family-run restaurant called the Queensdale) on a shoestring budget. The result is a cozy room with silvery Victorian wallpaper, a mishmash of antique finds and cheery Christmas decor. The front window is actually a retractable garage-style door, which will be rolled up in summer months.
• 200 cotton napkins stockpiled—over a year before the restaurant existed
• 60-plus cookbooks in the restaurant’s bookcase
• 30 painstakingly upholstered seats; 4 stools at the bar
• 3 months since owner Robert Maxwell quit being a broadcast media analyst to pursue his culinary dreams
• 2 floors
• 0 television sets (it’s not that kind of bar)