Tuesday, October 13, 2015Mostly Cloudy 15°C

Camp 4

Photo: Mauricio Calero

Posted by Stephen M. Baldwin / May 15, 2010

Camp 4 is a laid back spot in a Dundas West area still continuing to define itself. Inspired by a mountain hangout at California's Yosemite National Park, the bar is so lodge-like that it smells of moist lumber. The wood-heavy decor is a nice change from the common modernity of Queen and College West bars, but not unlike local haunts like the Dakota Tavern.

The bar has an acoustic rock ambience. "I'm very into rock and roll," says owner Joseph Tanner, "I think Toronto has enough bars with house and electro music." Camp 4 isn't a party, it's an open, relaxing place to have a drink; a traditional watering hole. The bar has a basic design, with dim lighting, candlelight and cabin decor surrounding rows of small tables along each wall, making good use of a narrow space.

The signature drinks are fairly standard rum and tequila variations of The Old Fashioned whiskey blend. The drink is a perfect fit for Camp 4. It's heavy on rich Flor de Cana rum, with bitters, maple syrup and topped with orange zest. It's the drink you'd mix on a hunting trip - however you interpret that is up to you, but just know that it's a welcome deviation from the norm.

Besides the Old Fashioned and other standard cocktail blends, Camp 4 has a wide range of bottled beer and wine. Still in a transitional phase (not yet what it's supposed to eventually be), Tanner plans to enlist the services of local brewers like Beaus.

With alternative/acoustic Indie rock playing, Joseph Tanner, tattooed and bearded, anticipates having live music - and they just barely have the room for it. You can't help but think, though, that they are set up for a losing battle with Dakota Tavern and The Garrison. It seems like they're still in the process of figuring out how to differentiate their bar.

Besides mixed nuts and other finger snacks, Camp 4 is foodless, but Tanner hopes, eventually, to have coffee and catered croissants, and then develop a brunch menu.

An industry veteran with experience at Toronto bars and restaurants like Terroni, The Loretto and Bar Italia, he's ambitious about the bar's future. If he follows through on his plans for local beer on tap, live acoustic music and a brunch menu, Camp 4 could be a great spot for the area. Formerly occupied by the Yauca Sports Bar, and then the Fantasy Karaoke Bar, Camp 4 may be the next Dundas West letdown, or exactly what the locals have been waiting for.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
None right now, potentially Beaus
Signature Drink:
The Old Fashioned
Bar Snacks:
Mixed nuts
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Laid back, rock & roll crowd, early 20s-early 30s.
7:30pm - 2:00am daily

Other Cities: Montreal