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Oct 29, 2011 06:29 AM

bars/pubs/lounges/places for drinks where 40somethings aren't out of place, where conversation is possible without straining your voice, and the music isn't turned up to nightclub levels between 10:30 pm and midnight....

I'm out of the loop. Went to the Bohemian Gastropub last night (don't expect a typical European style Radler if you order "The Radler"- this one is about half fresh-squeezed lemon juice and very tart- way too tart for this Goldilocks), and the music levels were fine when we got there at 10:30 pm, but by the time we left at midnight, it was too friggin' loud. It felt too awkward to ask them to turn it down, when the volume is intentionally being turned up by staff to levels where conversation becomes very challenging, and the majority of the staff and clients seem to like it that way. I kept looking through the window to Le Palette, wondering if it was quieter across the street.

I know the Drake Lounge is ok around 10 pm, but if I remember right, it's usually very loud by midnight. Two Cats and Brassaii are nightclub-loud by 11 or so. The Thompson's lobby is too loud for me. Even the Irish Embassy, where I was dragged a few weeks ago, is ridiculously loud by 11 pm. Origin turns loungey by 11 pm, and was super loud by 11:30 pm. Pravda gets a young crowd later at night, and is nightclub loud.

The Esplanade Biermarkt was really loud last time I was there. Is the King W location also superloud between 10:30 and midnight? I haven't been for a while.

How loud is a place like the Wheat Sheaf? What about Harlem Underground?

Places I consider on the quiet side:
the Monk's Table
The Rebel House
The Consort Bar
The Library Bar
The Roof at the Park Hyatt.

Suggestions for any part of town would be fine, but I'd especially like recommendations for south of Bloor and west of Bathurst, and for places where the crowd is likely to be down-to-earth.

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

461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA

158 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R1A8, CA

The Drake Hotel
1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Park Hyatt
Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

Wheat Sheaf Tavern
667 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M9, CA

Harlem Underground
745 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

La Palette
492 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

The Monk's Table
1276 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1W5, CA

The Bohemian Gastropub
571 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B6, CA

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  1. What about Celi Cottage? Or do things wind down there early?

    3 Replies
    1. re: millygirl

      Haven't been yet. Thanks, millygirl ;-)

      1. re: prima

        But the cottage is not west of Bathurst, it's east of Leslie St.. And it holds about 20 people total, I've never been able to just walk in and find a spot.

        1. re: foodyDudey

          Read carefully. "suggestions for any part of town are welcome"

          Perhaps if she arrives early enough she may be one of those lucky 20. Maybe it's just a matter of karma??!!

          We went just last week for the first time, and we're able to get one of the last few tables in the back. Had a great evening.

    2. You seem to have this pretty well covered. I might add The Cobourg on Parliament @ Winchester. When it gets loud in the front, you can always escape to the much quieter back room.

      The Cobourg
      533 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Googs

        Thanks, Googs. Haven't visited the Cobourg yet.

        The Cobourg
        533 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3, CA

      2. The King W Biermarkt is ear-splittingly loud, especially when they have a live band playing. Wheat Sheaf is a lot quieter and fits the down-to-earth criterion nicely.

        2 Replies
        1. re: caviartothegeneral

          Thanks, caviartothegeneral.

          Hope to try the Wheat Sheaf next time I'm looking for something closer to King & Bathurst- I really wish we had chosen the Wheat Sheaf last night. Noticed an article online that suggests the Old York Bar & Grill on Niagara also might be on the quieter side, for that neighbourhood.

          Old York Bar & Grill
          167 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

          1. re: prima

            The Old Yorke is lovely but often full. Another favourite is The Paddock on Bathurst just south of Queen.

        2. The Beaconsfield.

          1154 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1J5, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: iMarilyn

            Thanks iMarilyn...hadn't been to the Beaconsfield in about 5 years, and didn't remember it being on the quieter side. Probably should've gone there, since I met my friend at the Drake before we walked east.

            1154 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1J5, CA

            1. re: prima

              My friend works there. It gets pretty loud by 11 p.m. Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun and 40s would be on the older side of the crowd but the food is not bad and the drinks are reasonable in terms of price.

            2. re: iMarilyn

              beaconsfield is pretty hipster, there is always a dj on serato playing very loud music. It's also very dark. Gets Drake spill-off when it's too packed, expect that crowd.


              This spot is new, I haven't been so don't know the noise levels. There's also Victory Cafe, the music isn't too loud, noise is more from conversation amongst customers.

              A quiet one would be Ciros by Bloor & Lansdowne, my personal fav would be Drift by Dovercourt and Bloor. They have southern tier ipa in bottles.


              Owner is real cool, I like his taste in music. Leaning towards Footprints/Turning Point territory if you're familiar with that.

              1. re: aser

                I love Drift -- they do decent food, too.

                As for Ciro's, good beer selection but it's kinda dive-y.

            3. I would highly recommend the Black Hoof's Cocktail Bar. However, it's a small spot so if you're looking for a busier environment, look elsewhere.