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Pub w/ Private Room?

Hi there -

Every year my motley crew and I (sans Tommy Lee...haha) have a holiday open house, where we take over an area of a pub and folks drop in over the course of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (as a chance to get together and not have any one of us stuck cleaning and cooking). At max capacity I'd saythere would be 25 of us in the room at the same time.

The place we have done it at over the past few years were really inhospitable last time so we have decided to look elsewhere, this is where you come in. We'd ideally like to keep the location as centralized as possible, and ideally an accessible location. Ideas???

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  1. The Duke of York pub has a separate area upstairs in the back facing over their patio. It's not a completely separate room but it can be set aside for you and will hold 25 comfortably. It's all glassed in, like a conservatory, and the windows overlooking the patio can be opened when or if it gets too hot and stuffy. I've been in groups in that space before and the staff are excellent in organizing and supporting a group event. The room -- a bigger space -- downstairs in the basement can also be booked, or you can reserve the front part of the second floor, which has a fireplace.


    Duke Of York
    39 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1B2, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: JamieK

      I second the Duke, I also like the atmosphere (kitchy but classy) and the location is A++.

    2. You'll either love this or hate it, but at Dora Keough on the Danforth, the back of the pub has a private space restored to look like Grandma's old Irish kitchen. The room really is well done, and quite beautiful. I've never eaten there (you have to order ahead and require a large-ish party for that space), but the food comes from Allen's where I've always had good luck (although it is sometimes accused by CH'ers of slipping). Good selection of drinkies too.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Rabbit

        I was also going to suggest Dora's but was under the impression that the room was only able to accomodate about 12 to 15 people? I could be wrong, it's been awhile since I was there.

      2. Was at the Abbot on the Hill on Yonge recently and there seemed to be a big party hapening on their 2nd level-perhaps you could use all of that? its very good pub good I think and great prices too

        1. The Bow & Arrow at Yonge & Davisville has got an upstairs area. Never been up there myself but the taps are good and the food usually better than most usual pubs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lister

            Another spot to check would be The Safari Grill on Avenue Road. They have pool tables upstairs. I've only been for brunch which was reasonably good. It seems to be a fav spot for the locals. I would consider it more for the location and atmosphere as opposed to the food.

            1. re: millygirl

              Safari Grill would be an excellent choice on Avenue Rd between Wilson and Lawrence. The food is much better and more interesting than a typical pub. The upstairs room that millygirl mentioned would be a good size for 25.

              1. re: Jean Georges

                I don't get the fuss about that place. I can see it being a fun place to hang out on the patio in the summer. I've eaten there a few times and have been bored with the food.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  The just changed their menu yesterday!!!!

          2. Granite Brewery - they do group menus and have their own homebrews on tap. They have a lovely back room with a nice warm fireplace.
            Mount Pleasant south of Eglinton.

            1. Irish Embassy has a private room. Needs booking, however.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bluedog

                How about PJ O'Brien's on Colborne? They have a space upstairs by the fireplace.

              2. Scallywags at Yonge and St. Clair has a great second floor party room that you can book for free!


                I've used them for a University Alumni Association Pub Night and they were really wonderful and accomodating (and relatively cheap!)

                1 Reply
                1. re: elkerette

                  The Duke of Westminster at First canadian has a great private room

                2. Duke of Glouchester on Yonge between Wellesley and Bloor is a bit tatty these days, but their snug could accomodate 25 people. The tattiness gives it the funk of authenticity, I think. Feels like Kilbourn or something.

                  Failing that, another nomination for the Duke of York. I find it a bit too clean, sterile, corporate, whatever, but it's good.

                  1. Hi everyone - thanks for all of your suggestions, amazing in less than 24hrs!

                    I don't want to pinpoint which one it is, but one of the suggestions is actually where we used to go. We took over a portion of a room and we truly do a "drop in" and folks put $ in the pot as they come and go. Towards the end of the afternoon, the staff argued that they wanted to take seats away - even though our bill was in the hundreds of dollars they wanted more space (even though the venue wasn't busy at the time). Not marvy.

                    Sadly the Keogh idea is out because of the drop in nature of our crowd and their coming and going...but please keep the ideas coming! Some great suggestions so far, thankya!

                    Off of this site, I have had the Artful Dodger (private rooms upstairs?), Victory Cafe and the Dominion on Queen E suggested, any thoughts on those?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Britmeg

                      I was at Dominion on Queen E a couple years ago for a Halloween party. I can see the space being good for a group your size. I can't remember what the food was like though, sorry.

                      1. re: Britmeg

                        Dominion has the aroma of a place that's been damp for far too many years. It doesn't combine with food very well. Unfortunate.

                        The Artful Dodger is a delightful pub with no illusions of becoming upscale, bless their hearts. There are two rooms upstairs, one of which contains pool tables. I find their food serviceable, but nothing special. I would, though, eat there if a friend asked. This review kinda covers it, although the complaint about bad furniture in a pub is sorta weird. Had they never been to a pub before?

                        If you're serious about the food the pub serves, then I'll very definitely 2nd the Rebel House rec and taking over it's 2nd floor. Terrific food that ranges from absolutely decadent to very healthy concoctions, well-priced, good staff. I have no doubt you would have to book well in advance. Just had dinner there last night and even on a rainy, cold Tuesday it was packed with diners and drinkers.

                        1. re: Googs

                          Rebel House would be my first choice for food, but I have a hard time picturing a large group on the 2nd floor, plus they may not be able to accomodate during their busy weekend brunch.

                          1. re: pescatarian

                            That's why I suggested booking for post brunch. Upstairs would easily handle 25.

                        2. re: Britmeg

                          I was once a huge fan of the Duke of York. My rugby team would go there almost every Sunday through the fall, after our games, and we would have a great time. That was some years ago, and I feel the quality has sharply declined since then.

                          The Victory Café is a recent favourite of mine, due largely to their impressive beer selection and knowledge. Their food is quite good as well. I haven't taken a good look at their private rooms, if even they have any, but I wouldn't hesitate to visit the place, it's great.

                        3. Upstairs at the Rebel House? Yonge and Roxborough. It's definitely the right atmosphere, with board games available, and a warm feel. There's also an outdoor artificial skating rink within walking distance. You might have to go to the non-brunch hours, as they do high-traffic, which they might not be willing to forgo.

                          1. Britmeg, I think that you should name the guilty. We deserve to know if a place is less than hospitable.

                            1. I agree with hungry pangolin. No need to be coy. That's what this board if for.

                              adding some links while I'm here (more to come later) -

                              Dora Keogh
                              141 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                              Abbot on the Hill
                              1276 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T1W5, CA

                              Bow & Arrow
                              1954 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                              Safari Bar & Grill
                              1749 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M 3Y8, CA

                              Granite Brewery
                              245 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                              11 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M4V1K6, CA

                              Duke of Westminster
                              77 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5X 1A6, CA

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JamieK

                                Totally agree. Especially since she has already indicated it was one of these places, it would be nice to clear the names of all the others. Which place was it Britmeg?

                                1. re: millygirl

                                  I second the Abbott on the Hill - great pub atmosphere & the classy vibe coupled with a great range of prices makes it one of my faves. Really neat beer menu too (for those who care)

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    Alright! I will come clean. Twas the Duke of York.

                                    You can imagine my surprise as we had held group events there for years and they graciously handled us. I am all for recognizing that we are only human and everyone is entitled to an off night but the staff in our area (more than one) were very rude, especially considering they were looking at taking in a good chunk of change from our group. We weren't behaving in a demanding or disruptive way or anything, we actually were being very "low touch" and just having a lovely visit.

                                    Shocking as I have had nothing but good things to say otherwise, and I have been many times since and all is well...but in getting the group together for our annual 'do, we have decided it's a good year for a change.

                                    1. re: Britmeg

                                      yikes, that's unfortunate. I've always had a good experience there. Was just there in fact about a month ago for a party on the whole second floor, everything from the drinks to food to service was great, we had a grand time.

                                      here are some more links pertaining to the rest of the thread (it seems any pub worth its salt has some kind of private room or area) -

                                      Rebel House
                                      1068 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L4, CA

                                      Duke Of Gloucester
                                      649 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                                      Irish Embassy
                                      49 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

                                      P.J. O'Brien
                                      39 Colborne St, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

                                      Artful Dodger
                                      10 Isabella St, Toronto, ON M4Y1N1, CA

                                2. You could do it at the Tequila Bookworm. See this ad on craigslist http://toronto.craigslist.ca/evs/4696...