(Image: Gabby Frank)
Name: Barque Butcher Bar
Contact: 287 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700, barque.ca/butcherbar
Owner: David Neinstein, Jonathan Persofsky
Chefs: David Neinstein, Jo Castrinos
Bar Manager: Gerardo Diaz
The Food: Both prepared and cooked meats (chicken, ribs, brisket, sausages, bacon, burgers—all treated the way they are at Barque), salads and side dishes to-go, and various raw veggies from 100km Foods Inc. are sold both day and night. After 6 p.m. however, the focus is on snacks and small plates: chorizo ribs, smoked venison tartare, jerk-fried cornish hen and a poutine waffle, to name a few. “It’s a little more playful and aggressive in flavour than we can do at the restaurant. It’s less kid-friendly and more internationally-influenced,” says Neinstein.
The Drinks: VQA wine, beer, cider and sake, all on tap; and 10 cocktails, the most popular right now being the Smoke ‘n’ Choke. Playing cards do double-duty as coasters, but full decks are also available upon request if it’s a rousing game of Crazy Eights you’re after.
The Space: Previously kid-centric crafting café Smock, the space is now a butcher shop by day and a snack bar by night. (The butcher counter actually flips open to create a wider bar.) Instead of a glitter and paint corner, the spot has its own DIY centre where customers can buy pre-portioned spice baggies (all $1 each), and with some guidance, make their own rubs right there. “We want to teach people to smoke—that’s our little tagline,” says Neinstein.
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