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Bambi's

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Caroline Leung / May 2, 2012

Bambi's, despite being named after a Disney favourite, is hardly doe-eyed and innocent. It's tucked in the corner of Dundas and Dovercourt, but its charm is far more polished than the average Dundas West dive. Bambi's may appear to be a mere neighbourhood joint, but it's far more sophisticated that that.

Despite it being 11 on a Saturday night when I arrive, the place is remarkably empty. The bar staff are still arranging bottles and gutting limes. "We were cleaning until five a.m. the night before," Mike, the owner, explains. Despite the quietness, there's an anticipatory vibe, though a mellower weekday-type night might be in the cards.

There's certainly thought put into the way the place looks. There's something hyper-modern in its cohesion - the minimalistic furniture matches, and arranged with an almost geometric gusto. Exposed stone walls and pipes give it an industrial quality and saves it from being too slick. A complete revamp from a boarded up, unused space and a mere month old, it's unsurprisingly simple (but effective, nonetheless). It's darker than your average bar, but not dingy, and it feels justified.

This place is a basement, after all - the kind of basement that would recall back alleys, dungeons, and other places you'd go out of your way to be inappropriate in. With such potential for debauchery, I ask Mike why he'd name the place Bambi's. "I wanted it to be inviting," he replies, then grins cheekily. "So I named it after a orphaned deer." Even the licorice proffered in glass jars on the bar-top feel distinctly child unfriendly.

By midnight, the trickle of patrons accelerate to a full-on downpour. (Night owls, you're welcome; early birds, don't bother - at least, not on weekends.) Within 20 minutes the space is full, though not unnavigable. The crowd is diverse, and like the bar, stylish but unpretentious. The bar staff manages quite nicely, despite the masses that surround them; there's a high-five and smile for everyone. The music is certifiably techno, heightening its otherworldly, underground vibe. Bambi's definitely has an edge, but there's little ceremony or stiffness about it.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Tank House, Mill St. Organic
Signature Drink:
Dark & Stormy
Bar Snacks:
Jumbo baked pretzels, jamaican patties, jerk empanadas, and free licorice
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Classic girl punk, oddball underground disco, balearic rock edits, grungefests, synthpop, techno and proto-house
Live Music:
Yes
Who Goes There:
A mixed 25+ crowd spillover from West Queen West and Ossington
Hours:
7pm - 2am daily

Discussion

7 Comments

K-Borg / May 2, 2012 at 9:37 AM
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Tapped my toes to some Italian disco here a few weeks ago. Pretty cool place with a good vibe. I'll be going back.

Bambi / May 2, 2012 at 10:20 PM
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Neat! I clearly have to visit. :)

koo / May 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM
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Is that David Guetta serving?

kookoo / May 3, 2012 at 6:41 PM
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lol. david guetta! that guy plays drums in final fantasy. solid

j / May 9, 2012 at 8:38 AM
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what are the opening hours of this place?
I have gone twice ; at 5 pm last weed (thurs?) , and last night around 7 pm (tuesday)

Thx

quixotic / May 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM
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It says they open at 7pm, why would you be confused if they werennt open at 5?

reverse phone / August 29, 2013 at 8:22 PM
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Thanks for this great. I am wondering if you were planning of
publishing similar articles to this one. .Keep up that
the first-rate posts!

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