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Openings

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Introducing: Stout Irish Pub, the Cabbagetown tavern with a serious beer list

(Image: Signe Langford)

The traditional gold lettering set against a black wall might bring to mind Foxes, Fiddles and Firkins, but this is no cookie-cutter ye olde pub. Behind the simple black doors is a serious chef, 20 local craft and imported beers on tap, another 30 by the bottle, fat leather wingbacks and the welcoming aroma of smouldering peat.

“I wanted to design a place that I would want to live in, where I would feel cozy,” says 37-year-old co-owner Erin Gamelin, a 22-year industry vet. Her co-owner (and partner) is Craig Abbott, a mail carrier by morning and carpenter and builder of one really big pub by afternoon. Completely gutting the 20-year-old Brass Taps location, the pair created a brand new bi-level, 106-seat space that is warm and relaxing—think dark wood floors and wainscoting, red-brick walls decked out with photos from Ireland, Arts and Crafts lighting, yellow-gold banquettes and velvet curtains.

In the kitchen, chef Yehuda Goldberg creates what he’s dubbed “comfort food with class.” The George Brown grad has come home after several years in Europe cooking under the likes of two-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Paul Lacombe of Brasserie Léon in Lyon, France. Now he’s busy roasting veal bones, reducing ales and attempting to elevate pub grub classics—prime rib sandwich, chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie—beyond the usual greasy fare. In his devil’s beef stew ($15.49), Ontario Angus is aged 41 days, then braised over six hours in red wine and Great Lakes Brewery’s Devil’s Pale Ale. Cameron’s fish and chips ($15.49) is a gargantuan 10 ounces of haddock, battered in Cameron’s Dark Ale and served on a mound of chunky fries with homemade tartar sauce.

Sunday afternoons feature a drop-in ceili—an Irish (and Newfoundland) tradition of homemade music and beer—but don’t expect to find Guinness on tap. “I like to deal with the underdog, and the small craft brewers are the underdogs,” says Gamelin. “They are all about passion, care and quality.” Instead, she might pull you a proper pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout or a frosty Rock Creek Cider (both $6.73). And if making a choice proves difficult, flights of four five-ounce beers are only $7.49.

Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St., 647-344-7676, stoutirishpub.ca.

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  • Abi D

    I haven’t even been yet, and already I am hyper-excited about this place opening up in my neighbourhood. Finally, an Irish pub in Cabbagetown that ticks all the boxes, including the crucial ones: great food, a peat-burning fireplace, and a regular ceili. Welcome Stout!!!

  • Vicki & Bud Gamelin

    We haven’t been yet either, but I’m salivating just reading the menu. I can’t wait to talk to a real Irish server and try the Ontario beer. We’re looking forward to the ceili and meeting people from the neighborhood. Congratulations Erin & Craig on your wonderful pub!

    With much Love,

    Mom & Dad (Vicki & Bud)
    Manitoba

  • Melissa

    There’s nothing better than curling up near a fireplace with a pint of stout! This pub looks so cozy and wonderful. I can’t wait to go and try the beer sampler.

  • Wilma

    Wow, this is incredible guys, absolutely. It looks awesome and sooo inviting and warm, a place you want to keep going back too. Congratulations to you both and Shannon and I can’t wait to see it in person. Love and miss you both. Cheers! :)

  • Bethany Belton

    Well, you had right up until finding out they don’t pour
    Guinness???
    How can they call themselves and “Irish” pub, if they don’t pour Guinness?????
    That’s just plain nutty!
    Food sounds good though.
    Nice piece, Signe.
    Beth

  • JP

    Can’t wait to visit Toronto’s newest success story! The Devil’s Beef Stew and Cameron’s Fish and Chips are calling my name. Love, too, that Stout is supporting the small craft brewers!

    Sláinte!

    JP

  • Janos and Robert

    It looks absolutely wonderful! We’re already wondering how we can change our tickets this summer from Montreal to Toronto! Congratulations Erin & Craig on your new pub!
    Janos and Robert
    Richmond, BC

  • Diane

    Omg I love it!!! I was there the servers were great, I loved the different beers, the best part was the food!! I had the chicken pot pie it was huge and delish!

    Diane

  • AF

    I went there last Saturday night with a group of friends and everyone had a great time. The atmosphere, the food and the drinks are wonderful.
    At first a friend wasn’t in the mood to order food, but after seeing the first dishes being served, he QUICKLY changed his mind.
    Keep up the great work!

  • Shirley Crowe

    Congratulations Erin, you done good!! There was never any doubt that you’d grab the tiger by the tail. I’m proud of you…and one of these days, when you least expect it, this wrinkled old face will dart your doors. Cheers.

  • Jan & Ron Hebert

    A delightful Irish Pub in our Cabbage Patch, we sure needed one as a reminder of all the Irish ladies & lads that had
    a pint or two in yesteryear on this land known as Cabbagetown.

    Welcome to our neighborhood, we sure enjoyed your hospitality and business acumen.

  • YD

    Great place! We’ve eaten here twice…Cameron’s Fish & Chips are worth coming out on a cold night for. Beer selection is really good, and Erin makes everyone feel as if they’ve come home! Definitely an asset to the neighbourhood. Looking forward to many more evenings at my new ‘local’!

  • Irish_Lad

    lol are you joking? The menu is pathetic “county clare crostini” “waterford wings” “isle of erin mac’n'cheese” etc.

  • Quite Impressed

    Was there for brunch on Sunday, pleasant service and terrific food – you must try the stew.

    Looking forward to my next visit.

  • Tom S

    Honestly, I have been a few times so far, and I always have a BLAST! For some reason, this place loses the usual ‘Toronto pretention’ and lives up to a down-home name. Had the Cameron’s Fish and Chips and it was WAY too much food (umm… is that a bad thing?) but scruptious! Finally, a real reason to cross Jarvis into the East Side! Loves it!

  • calvin

    Take me to your leader!

  • James C. Mullan

    Speaking as an Irishman – the genuine article, not one of the green-bedecked Paddy’s Day idiots – I think I can state, with some certainty and experience, that a soi-disant “Irish pub” which doesn’t pour Guinness………isn’t, and can never be.

  • mattagascar

    “I like to deal with the underdog”…um, isn’t Murphy’s owned and brewed by Heineken? A craft brew it is not.

  • Sami Lama

    Was just there for brunch. Service, food and atmosphere were great! Can’t wait to come back for dinner. Beer selection is pretty good. Enjoyed my pint of Dead Elephant. Hope they carry Beaus soon.

  • OL

    Food was ordinary, bland or burned. Servers were nice but with the food being ordinary (looks like from the other reviews the fish and chips is the best thing to order?), being surrounded by tvs and a radio station playing, the atmosphere was just not quite right. Turn that stuff off, play some good tunes, get the food some flavor and this place will be fantastic.

  • Conor

    There is no question that Stout has come to play. What a fanatastic facelit on an tired, rundown “pizza pub”. So far the dining experience has been limited to a few choices over lunch, however, as long as you avoid the frozen burger you should be pleased.
    The layout itself is no different than the former owner, but the warmth from it’s decor encourages you to come back, hang your coat and stay for a while.
    Although the name Stout, incorportating the “irish pub” is misleading. This is no more an irish pub than the HOP is a place to get good service. Shame on you for not having Guinness and Magners on tap. No one actually enjoys a pint of Murphy’s and anyone who tells that they do is lying to be nice.

  • local cabbagetowner

    staff obnoxious, food ordinary, atmosphere fine, won’t make it my local

  • Pierre

    Girlfriend and I moved to the neighbourhood a month or so ago, we stumbled upon this gem of a place last night. Friendly staff, amazing food, great atmosphere – looks like we found our new “go-to” place for the area!

 

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