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Introducing: Aft Kitchen and Bar, a new barbecue joint in Riverside

Introducing: AFT

Name: Aft Kitchen and Bar
Neighborhood: Riverside
Contact info: 686 Queen St. East, 647-346-1541,, @aft_bar
Owner: Paul Campbell, formerly of House on Parliament
Chefs: Christian Butcher and sous chef Lawrence La Pianta

The food: American comfort food with an emphasis on southern barbecue, which La Pianta spent two years learning in Texas (everything is smoked on-site). Daily specials include smoked burgers ($13) and wings ($14) on Monday, buttermilk fried chicken ($17) on Wednesday and Texas barbecue on the weekends.

The drinks: Craft beer ($6.95) on tap, along with a large selection of bourbon and whiskey. Campbell plans to introduce classic cocktails like Manhattans, whiskey sours and mint juleps soon.

The place: Aft took over its tiny space from the short-lived Toucan Taco Bar, and outfitted it with plenty of wood, including a long sugar maple bar top with a live edge and shelving reclaimed from a church organ in The Beach. A backyard patio should open by mid-May, doubling the capacity of the restaurant.

By the numbers:
• 800 square feet
• 27, the number of seats inside (the patio will add another 30)
• 16–20, the numbers of hours of smoke the brisket receives (wings get about 1.5, and ribs, 8–16)
• $5–$20, the menu’s price range (from marinated olives to sous-vide steak frites)

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  • jb234324

    Herb crusted chicken? At a BBQ place? WTF were they thinking?

  • Hillary Oldewening

    Went to Aft on a rainy Monday night and the place was packed! Sat at the beautiful bar (wood reclaimed from TO Island) and chatted it up with friendly owner, Paul. Had the portabello mushroom frites to start which came with a great dipping sauce. Next, I ordered the smoked burger and fries. The burger had nice texture and a unique bbq smoked flavour unlike anywhere else in the city. Portions are quite ample and was stuffed but finished off the meal with organic berry cheesecake served in a mason jar… nice touch! Paul told us what’s to come on the brunch menu (available shortly) so will definitely be back to Aft to check out brunch and another theme night soon! Aft is cozy, friendly, beautiful in aesthetic and does southern bbq at it’s best for great value. Check it out for yourself and you won’t be disappointed.

  • local421

    Oh brother. It’s called Aft Kitchen & Bar, not Big Al’s Tennesee Smokehouse. Just cuz they’re serving BBQ doesn’t mean they have to adhere to some sacrosanct notion of what’s offered south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Get over yourself.