Thursday, July 30, 2015Mostly Cloudy 26°C

The Half Point

Photo: Bruce Emberley

Posted by Staff / December 6, 2011

No Name McGee's may have been the name of choice the night we went, but the bar at 1602 Dundas St. West has not yet been officially named. For now, we'll call it No Name.

"Jason and I wanted to get the bar open and worry about the details later," said Elliot Mealia, the manager that spoke to me. The details he's referring to are the name, menu, and food. When you first see the bar from the street a collapsible blackboard displays the current name which changes constantly.

Menus are probably absent because Jason Abrams (the owner) and Elliot are still deciding on food, but drinks are written up on another blackboard behind the bar. They have a great selection of bottled beer (PBR, Bohemian, Zyweic, 666, and Guinness to name a few), with prices ranging from $4 and up.

When my friends and I first arrived at the bar around 9:30pm on Saturday, it was understandably empty. By 10:30 it was mostly filled and by 11 it was packed. The crowd was a mixed group with cap-wearing "dudes" sitting next to conservative couples in their 40s, but the atmosphere was undeniably comfortable.

The decor is tasteful with dim lighting and muted metallic paint on the walls that warms the space. The bar is one long piece of wood and the furniture at the tables is mismatched and worn. It's very opium-den chic with Victorian touches.

Elliot was very friendly and recommended his specialties (my words not his -- he was modest): an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. We tried both and they were equally well-made. The Old Fashioned was clean and fresh tasting, clearly made with fresh fruit (or puree). I personally didn't enjoy the Manhattan, but my scotch-swilling friend assured me it was made perfectly and gave the bourbon its deserved moment in the spotlight.

No Name wants to be known for its variety of scotches (with 19 different varieties). Their selection seems a bit limited and there are certainly more well-equipped whiskey bars in the area, like The Caledonian. However, No Name's scotch is priced aggressively in order to challenge the competition, starting at $6.50 per shot and peaking at $30.

The group I went with unanimously agreed that we would frequent No Name's if it was closer to our respective homes. It's got the right mix of charm and comfort that makes it easy to hangout for a night with friends. It might not have a defining characteristic that calls for an across-city visit, but if No Name is in your neighbourhood then we've just found your new favourite watering hole.

Writing by Andrew Kalinchuk

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Flying Monkey Amber Ale
Signature Drink:
The Old Fashioned and Manhattans
Bar Snacks:
Potato Chips
80s Synth, Melancholy, Glam Rock
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Casual 9-to-5 crew, Dundas West locals, mid 20s-30s
6pm - 2am daily



hep / December 6, 2011 at 11:58 AM

The PBR in the photo with the creepy guy sure puts me off the joint.

AV In replying to a comment from hep / December 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I said the same thing in my head; "Oh, so this place is not for me".

Marla / December 6, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Get over yourselves, that PBR comment, spare me.

tired / December 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM

So sad that people drink PBR so that people see them drinking PBR.
How about you try some beers and pick one based on taste not one based on matching your moustache. Oh wait - look - they have Flying Monkey on tap. Amazing. But you'll never try it. Oh well.

M / December 6, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Is there a phone number to contact this place?

Kris / December 6, 2011 at 12:58 PM

If everyone avoided bars that have PBR, I guess they have no bars to go to at all. Shame, really. Oh well - more beers for me.

Scott / December 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM

It's funny that the pictures are all from when it's empty. I went this past Friday and there were maybe 15-20 people there at 10pm but then had been comfortably filled out (i.e. not ridiculously packed) by 11pm. Reviewer was right about the very comfortable vibe and mix of people: very neighbourhoody. Music wasn't loud, either, which I like in a bar that I go to hang out and talk in. washrooms were very clean too. i enjoyed the place and would certainly recommend it.

(On a picky sidenote, it can't be that hard to run an article through a spell check before posting it up.
Also, it's Guinness (the bar spelled it correctly on its sign), not Guiness)

some words / December 6, 2011 at 1:08 PM

"355ml can. Smell is a sweet malt, maybe a little fruity and sour. Kind of reminds me of apple juice. Looks like apple juice too, only paler. Pretty much no head. Taste is corn syrup sweetness and a little off sour and chemicals. Palate is thin. Sex in a canoe. Overall, not the worst thing I’ve ever had. The taste is not foul or strong enough for that, but it is weak sauce and a waste of time."

Rich In replying to a comment from Kris / December 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Lots of bars, outside of the universe that is Dundas and Ossy, sell great beers other than PBR.

Adam / December 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Hate being That Guy, but you can't tout a "great selection of bottled beer" and then list PBR and Zyweic.

And if you don't know what goes into an Old Fashioned — and heck, maybe it's your first one ever — how can you tell if it's well-made?

Would it kill BlogTO to have bar reviewers who aren't total neophytes about booze?

Incidentally, We Still Call it the Skydome is actually a pretty great name.

me / December 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

hey rich, suck it. 1602 is awesome. oh and adam? suck it as well. go have a rickards at jack astors then.

MESS HALL / December 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM


Al In replying to a comment from hep / December 6, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Totally agree. Creepy dudes, PBR, NOPE.

WWJD / December 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Judging someone for the beer the sell/drink is as pathetic as drinking/selling a specific beer because everyone around you is.

vote #2 on We Still Call it the Skydome

Me2 / December 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM

It's a great neighbourhood bar run by nice people and doesn't pretend to be anything else.

I'm glad it's not populated with the beer snob jerks that judge people by their beer selection that have commented above.

It's a great place and a welcome edition to the neighbourhood especially now that Naco is dead.

Adam In replying to a comment from Me2 / December 6, 2011 at 4:10 PM

If a bar wants to serve mediocre beer, fine. Par for the course. Kudos to the bar for offering cocktails; I'll have one of those instead.

For praising the beer selection, I was criticizing the writer, not the bar. Literacy: Your ticket to understanding the world a little better.

Great! / December 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Great, this is in my neighbourhood! I'll be stopping by soon to check it out.

mw18 / December 6, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Not to ruin all the fun, but unless they are registering a new name under the Business Names Act everyday, they are in violation. Guess they decided to worry about that "lawyer detail" later too.

Long Nguyen / December 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Opened 6pm to 2am saily?

dnr / December 6, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Awesome bar. Thursday nights is FRENCH GIRLS. Great DJ plays pop/punk/rock n roll.

Garf In replying to a comment from mw18 / December 6, 2011 at 9:42 PM

My vote is to name the bar after this freaking idiot.

Adam / December 6, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Went there tonight, great bar, good music, solid beer selection.

Too bad the writeup blogto did was so sloppy.

LeslieCz In replying to a comment from Al / December 7, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Some precious posters must never swim beyond their little lagoon if they see these two guys as "creepy" hehehe

Tim / December 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

The "creepy" guy is actually one of the owners.

LeslieCz / December 7, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Well then I guess he's found his bar name: "Creep's"

Steve / December 7, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Yes, call it "Creepy Dee's" and serve nachos with pineapple chunks on top!

Derek / December 7, 2011 at 1:24 PM

If the writer's friend assured the writer that the Manhattan was well-made, why include his own (inferred) inferior opinion? Word count? I know nothing about jazz, so my opinions about Miles Davis do not matter if a jazz fan informs me that he's quite good at jazzing.

Maureen In replying to a comment from Marla / December 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Hey Marla, so you must go out with the man in the bomber jacket, too.

dan / December 7, 2011 at 7:51 PM

"the dill hole"

athena In replying to a comment from Adam / December 7, 2011 at 10:52 PM

@Adam hahahaha neophytes? yer dumb.

Not the Previous Steve / December 8, 2011 at 3:10 AM

Man, I love BlogTO comments. Funny shit.

Andrea / December 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I was here last night and it ruled. The owners, those 2 "creeps" in the photo, are super friendly. For all you out there who are bored barfless of the bourbon-beer chat, their house red is quite delightful.

Annika / December 8, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Great atmosphere, great people, great prices!

HISHHASH / December 20, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Great comments from people that never leave their basements.

pippy / December 29, 2011 at 10:57 AM

was there the other night, its a nice bar, don't understand why everyone is being so nasty? maybe they should warm up to the dryers across the street on a cold winters eve instead of in a nice friendly bar with good people.

pippy / December 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

btw, I think they should name it CAKEWALK! :) (just kidding) how about the Mabinogion; Its a welsh book of folklore.

the whiner / January 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I really wanted to like this place but it's yet another west end bar that serves the crappiest, most unimaginative wine available. I would never buy Jackson Triggs at the LCBO; why would I pay for it in a bar? Get it together, Toronto. It's so simple.

kizmo / February 2, 2012 at 1:29 AM

drinks are not the most important thing at a bar. is toronto really that boring that they really care that much about fucking bourbon?

you're trying to get drunk. that's only one of the points.

che / March 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

@ pippy: they're nasty b/c that's what you have to do to be cool, act like you know more BS than someone else and yell it out, but in reality, you're just a hollow facade that looks like everyone else trying to be cool

the bar: its a grungy little place with cool tunes, an AWESOME bourbon list (@kizmo, if you don't understand bourbon, then just shaddap), sweet tunes, and almost everyone is drunk which makes it loads n loads o fun. very nice kick-back place.

needs: more furniture, a couple more beers on tap or better still, cider!

mayor dodge / April 3, 2012 at 4:21 PM

What's the matter with some of you posters? The place looks like a fine watering hole to me. Those dudes at the bar are just in the middle of a conspiracy, that's all. Chill.

cc / December 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

An Old Fashioned doesn't have any fruit in it (aside from an orange zest; very rarely it has a cherry muddled with the sugar, but that's strained, anyway, there's definitely no puree). The writer should learn more about cocktails before writing about them.

Vibrator / April 17, 2013 at 7:11 AM

What's up Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web site on a regular basis, if so after that you will without doubt get nice knowledge.

BB / September 1, 2013 at 1:39 AM

My favourite place to drink in the city and the owner (pictured) is an absolutely sweetheart, and no (to the morons) I am not dating him. Fingers crossed the idiots on here never drink there because it would ruin it for the lovely people who do

Other Cities: Montreal