What’s on the menu at Bar*Q, Barque Restaurant’s new burger joint on Roncesvalles
Contact: 287 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700, barque.ca/bar, @barquebbq
Previously: Barque Butcher Bar
Chef-owner: David Neinstein
Accessibility: Ramp at entrance; washrooms down a flight of stairs
Last year was a year of change for Barque owner David Neinstein: he closed his big Burlington location, shut down his catering company and then, right at the end of 2019, he decided to rebrand Barque Butcher Bar. “I was inspired to do something interesting that would drive more business—and maybe justify renewing the lease,” says Neinstein. That something turned out to be Bar*Q, a place to grab a griddle-smashed burger and a pint of local beer while watching whatever game is on one of the bar’s three new screens.
“The whole concept is to keep it simple,” says Neinstein. “There are a lot of great burger places in Toronto—Gold Standard, Rudy, Burger’s Priest—we’re not trying to reinvent the burger. But burger places tend to be in-and-out affairs—there aren’t many places you can sit, watch a game and have a nice dining experience. And that’s what I wanted.” Bar*Q’s short-and-sweet menu is comprised of a few different burgers (including a meatless one), chicken wings and some sides (fries, a take on Frito Pie, even a couple of salads). Here’s a look at what you can get.
There’s beer, bourbon, cider and wine—but mostly beer and bourbon. “We try to keep all the drinks hyper-local, so most of the beers come from basically a couple kilometres in either direction. That way we can keep it interesting and really fresh,” says Neinstein. This means that currently there’s stuff on offer from Great Lakes, Henderson, Bellwoods and Blood Brothers. There’s also a create-your-own-old-fashioned menu, where guests can choose their bourbon (or mezcal), their sweetener and their bitter, to make their ideal drink.
Not too much has changed since its Barque Butcher Bar days—there’s some bar seating, some cozy two-tops down one side of the space and more tables at the back. But there are now three TVs on which to screen [insert sport here] games. For those interested in a different kind of entertainment, there’s a shelf stocked with books and board games.