Kitch bills itself as a place for “eats and beats”—the eats coming courtesy of Bryan Jackson, noted waffle lover and owner of Starving Artist, and the beats from Jose Rodriguez, talent booker for Charles Khabouth’s Ink Entertainment. The casual restaurant/bar/lounge is meant to be the kind of place where comfort snack food is paired with great music ranging from Nas to electronic to indie (with precious little Bieber or Top 40 here, unless, say, it’s a really cool remix). And unusually for a place like this, it’s nestled in among the auto body and plumbing supply shops north of Dupont and Dufferin.
The huge 2,800-square-foot space is full of the sort of kitsch you’d expect from a place named Kitch (which is also a play on the word “kitchen”). The centrepiece is a long bar, featuring a 70-year-old bowling alley top. Behind the bar, pantry shelves showcase retro pieces like a pair of golden eagles, mix-and-match cookie jars, gnomes and tiny televisions. Topping the whole assemblage off is a handpicked selection of antique speakers, which fill up the wall. Small diner tables and chairs in the front bask in the glow of retro cartoons and stunt videos projected on the wall. In the back, high bar tables, a small lounge and a patio (complete with picnic tables) offer some more seating. There’s also an upstairs loft space whose retro, mismatched furniture makes it feel a little like stepping into your parents’ basement.
The menu offers dishes that are best described as something between Mexican and comfort food (i.e. the kind of food that happens to pair well with lots of drinking). Large plates of nachos are intended for sharing ($12.50 for veggie, $14.50 for chicken, $14.50 for beef or veggie chilli). Tacos ($6-9) are filled with beet and goat cheese, hamburger or jerk chicken. There’s also burritos ($8) and spicy mac ’n’ cheese with smoked bacon ($6). For drinks, there’s sangria ($19 for 750 ml) and margaritas (1 ounce for $6.50), tallboys of beer like Steam Whistle, Tecate, Stiegl or Amsterdam Blonde ($6.50 each) and specialty Mexican Kool-Aid ($2.50) that comes in lime, cantaloupe, guava, mango and pineapple. With summer on its way, plans are underway for barbecues on the patio, and the big launch party is set to take place on Cinco de Mayo.