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2Cats Cocktail Lounge

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Martha Stortz / January 30, 2013

2Cats is a cocktail lounge located on King West, and equidistance between For Your Eyes Only and The One that Got Away World Famous Fish House, resulting in a Bermuda Triangle of sexual jokes.

I recently visited 2Cats at about 9 pm on a Thursday evening, lured by the promise of cheap drinks until 10. The lounge is set up panopticon-style, with the bar in the center and places to sit and stand around the sides. Whether it was set up this way to control systems of power and knowledge or simply to look aesthetically pleasing is still up for discussion (though I suspect it is a little of both).

I asked if there was a cocktail menu, but the bartender replied that there wasn't one. I found this a little odd; to name a bar 2Cats Cocktail Lounge and then provide neither a cocktail menu nor cats seems a little unintuitive. However, the bartender politely reminded us of the amazing deals to be had ($3 rail drinks before 10) and the lack of menu/cats were quickly forgotten.

I ordered a vodka and cranberry juice, the drink of choice for an alcoholic with a UTI. The strong drink fit well with the panopticistic theme that was quickly emerging. The vodka in the drink was both visible and unverifiable. Visible: I constantly had before my eyes a cup that was mostly filled with ice and vodka with a few fingers of juice to top it off. Unverifiable: Because the drinks were so strong and I so weak, I had no idea how much alcohol I was consuming.

My companion and I chose to sit in one of the small wooden booths toward the front of the bar. These booths are perfect for sitting and discussing important issues, such as whether Beyonce does her own Instagram and whether or not anyone will get Foucault references in a bar review?

Too often bars perpetuate a certain vibe through interior design, space and menu but then ruin it by playing music that evokes the absolute opposite of what they were going for in the first place. Like seeing Shia LaBeouf in any heroic role, you try and convince yourself that it's a fun juxtaposition but you know in your heart that it's all wrong.

Fortunately, the genre (popular oldies) and volume (somewhere between Tracy Morgan's speaking voice and Mike Tyson's yelling voice) of music at 2Cats perfectly complemented the laid-back feel of the bar on this wintry Thursday eve. It should be noted that the music does get louder as the night goes on, so if you hate intense auditory stimulation, be prepared to leave before 11pm.

I wouldn't hesitate to return to 2Cats. The well-priced drinks and comfortable atmosphere makes it an ideal place for a relaxed date, fun girls night or meeting your biological mom for the first time. Just stay away from the Foucault jokes.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Several to choose from
Signature Drink:
Gin and juice
Bar Snacks:
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Anyone with more than one (but less than three) cats, pompous hipsters who have taken Philosophy 101 and refer to it every chance they get
8 pm- 2 am, Thursday to Saturday



Rich / January 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM

equidistant, pantopticon-style.... you were just dying to slide those in there weren't you....

Bob / January 30, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Do they still play Kenny Rogers?

K-Borg / January 30, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Best bar review I've read on here in awhiiiiiiiiiiile.

asswhopping / January 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I once saw Jonathan Torrance (Of Jono-Vision "fame") get his ass kicked at 2Cats back in oh, 2005-ish.

Was hilarious.

Moss In replying to a comment from Rich / January 30, 2013 at 10:07 AM

How dare the reviewer spice up her piece with "fancy" words! BURN HER AT THE STAKE!

Great review though, entertaining while still being informative. It's also refreshing when a review doesn't compare apples to oranges. If a bar is meant to be a laid back, value-based spot for a quick drink, I always hate it when reviewers bash it because it's not staffed by an army of mixologists.

Andrew / January 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM

"ROCKPILE, UP IN THIS MA" - Jonathan J-Roc Torrens

brian / January 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM

im out at 11pm

Michelle / January 30, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I vowed never to give this place business after having to walk by their garbage cans every day that are always in the way of the sidewalk with shit spilling out of them all over the ground. I know it sounds ridiculous but it's such a disgusting mess on a street I have to walk down every day (Portland) that I just don't feel like supporting them.

John Kimble In replying to a comment from asswhopping / January 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

More details please, this sounds like an excellent story.

MrsPotato In replying to a comment from Michelle / January 30, 2013 at 11:39 PM

I thought I was the only one that noticed the garbage ... I too, pass it every single day.

I feel the exact. same. way.
Won't step foot in it.

Rumohrhasit / February 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

2CATS ROCKS!! Those who bash 2cats need to "Seek to understand" "seek information before investigation". So you won't step inside 2Cats because everyday you by pass garbage?! Well I guess you don't step foot into any establishment in this city. Last time I checked we are surrounded by garbage throughout the whole city of Toronto. Don't judge a book by its cover. It's a cool, clean place and perfect for a fun filled night with a little social lubrication. Do yourself a favor and sooth your mind and let the Awesome staff of 2Cats rock your soul!!

Ryan / October 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

First time there the other night. Found a piece of glass in my drink that made its way into my mouth. Luckily I caught it before I swallowed it. Supposed manager and owner reply "that happens once a month...what do you want me to do?" Won't be there again....

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