Baby Huey is the second incarnation of one of Toronto's favourite bars. After closing up shop, Baby Huey moved up the street to a new and improved location further north on Ossington.
I visited Baby Huey late on a Friday night, eager to get my drink on while celebrating one of the top five cartoon ducks of the 20th century.
Sidenote: I appreciate how cartoon artists are quick to communicate to the viewer exactly how intelligent we should expect the character to be via their dress. For example, Baby Huey is not very smart . He is loud and naive and is a burden on his parents. Therefore, he must be outfitted in a diaper.
Finally, Mickey Mouse is so cognitively developed, he feels shame around his nudity and must wear shorts. He is intelligent and evolved enough to have a romantic relationship and enslave an animal with more advanced cortical folding as a pet .)
Inhabiting the space where Rock Lobster used to be, Baby Huey looks a little similar to how it used to, but a bit nicer and more grown-up. It's a long space, with high tables and chairs along one wall and a chalkboard on the other.
There are kitschy vintage posters along the wall (evoking vintage camp-y vibes), with ugly-chic chandeliers hung from the ceiling (evoking cute-meet-campy vibes) and prayer candles at each table (evoking boring summer camp vibes).
The bar is in the middle of the space, and a dance floor with a DJ booth is at the very back. There are a few other fun little touches such as the TV above the bar that plays Dirty Dancing , a movie I've oddly never seen in all my years as a media-consuming female.
Across from the bar, there are directions to the washrooms loudly proclaimed in graffiti ("Shitters"), a word I've oddly never seen emblazoned across a wall in all my years as a PBR-consuming dive bar patron.
I ordered a vodka soda ($7) served with freshly cut lime, which is always a nice touch and really elevates the drink (which is pretty basic in every single sense of the word). Though Baby Huey serves no food, they list the phone numbers of several "restaurants" (Pizza Pizza, KFC) and restaurants (Rock Lobster) that deliver to enable guests to order eats if the mood strikes.
Though I ultimately decide against coercing Toronto food instagrammer Hector Vasquez to order a gluten-free pizza with me, it seems like a great idea to have the option available to guests.
As the night got later, the music turned up and the bar filled with patrons ready to drink and dance. As it did before, Baby Huey caters to an eclectic crowd. There were women in gorgeous dresses, dudes in baseball hats, and two separate people from two separate groups who were both wearing workout capris.
While i was initially doubtful/jealous, it makes total sense. If you're going to what is essentially a house party in a nicer venue than your basement apartment, complete with KFC, beer, and TV, why wouldn't you want to be comfortable?
It's also entirely possible they were just at the gym and needed a post-workout tequila, which has definitely happened to me both times I tried to do crossfit.
When I left Baby Huey, the party was in full swing. The good music, fresh drinks, and chill patrons made for a fun, laid-back vibe, and the fun of the night took such hold that I barely noticed the movie I was obsessed with finally seeing and finally getting all those pop culture references to was long over.
Baby Huey's continued success prove that change of scenery isn't always a bad thing. Even though the space is different, the atmosphere and crowd are what makes Baby Huey really shine. Because of course, nobody puts Baby Huey in the corner.