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Get Well

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Caroline Leung / July 10, 2012

Get Well is a strange name, particularly when you start to wonder what they're claiming to cure. One can hardly call its neighbourhood, Dundas West, lacking. It's a smorgasbord of up-and-coming bars and restaurants, and old faithfuls, including nearby Red Light and The Communist's Daughter. Its resident music venue, The Garrison, is a cultural landmark. Get Well isn't exactly a necessary addition to the neighbourhood, but I was charmed all the same.

First, there's the quirky décor. It's more put together than the faux-vintage, mismatched look that's become the standard for most places west of Bathurst thanks to a few key pieces--a pair of golden dragons with glowing eyes over the bar, a series of creepy-cute illustrated portraits, and an antique railing that separates a small sitting area from the rest of the space. But its centerpiece is undoubtedly a cluster of old-school game machines, including Space Invaders, Tetris, and pinball, likely inherited from its previous incarnation, The Port (so far it's free, just ask a bartender.) Get Well has character, and you'll either hate or love the space for it. Although gauging by the success of 3030 Dundas West in the Junction, you'll probably love it.

There's plenty of seating, which makes the still-in-the-works menu all the more urgent a matter (they just opened two weeks ago). And the crowd isn't boring--there were floral corsets worn with Blue Jays caps, rainbow ponytails, a pair of hairy legs crowned in a ballerina's tutu. You may have to push and shove your way through to the bathrooms, but you'll be entertained throughout.

For many, Get Well's biggest draw will be its craft beer selection. I was told that the crop will vary by night, but more common breweries like Beau's and Wellington will be staples. They also have their own cask beer, to which a friendly bartender introduces me with a generous sample--spoiler alert: it's good.

Get Well is co-owned by Al (you may recognise him from Victory Café) and Jeff and Tim from Sonic Boom. What they know of Toronto--its taste in beer, music, and its penchant for the unconventional--is reflected in Get Well. If you're already a neighbourhood regular, congratulations; Get Well surpasses almost every joint on the strip. But even if you have little patience for westbound antics, its carefully curated beer selection makes Get Well well worth a visit.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
On this particular night: Black Oak Black Abbey IPA, Gananoque Trainwreck Strong Ale, Great Lakes Lake Effect IPA, Granite Keefe’s Irish Stout, Churchkey Red Ale, Gananoque Naughty Otter Lager, Wellington County Ale, Muskoka Mad Tom IPA, Beau’s Lug Tr
Signature Drink:
With its beer selection, it’s hardly necessary
Bar Snacks:
Upcoming menu
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Garage/indie rock from the 70’s and beyond
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Beer aficionados, cyclists, the tattooed and bearded, typically 25+
Hours:
Daily 8pm – 2am

Discussion

17 Comments

Adam / July 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM
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Been here 5 times already. Two complaints:
- terrible waits for drinks. Two bartenders doesn't seem to be enough to service the one long bar. I waited 20 minutes for a beer.
- bad sound system. Can't hear anything at the back.

Other than that, love this place.

Marie / July 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM
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This is definitely the best bar in the otherwise insufferable "Dundas & Ossington 'hood"!

Great atmosphere, big enough for me to not feel claustrophobic and an EXCELLENT array of local beers.

Mark / July 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM
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Agree with Adam. Been a few times. Great beer selection, love the games. But the wait time at the bar is crazy. They need a third bartender for sure, or at least have a bar back that can swing over and help when they get slammed.

Mark / July 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM
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Totally agree with Adam. Get beer selection, and I love the games. But the wait time at the bar is horrible. They neeed a third bartender, or a barback that can swing over and help when they are getting slammed

Ben / July 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
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Anyone know why all the tap handles are facing the wall? Installed taps that were meant to face out perhaps?

Bob / July 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM
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Any website? It's very difficult to search for it :-)

Or any live music listings?

A really hot guy / July 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM
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This is my favourite bar in Toronto.

robg / July 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM
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Went there last night 15 minutes to last call, stood at the bar patiently for 15 minutes, finally got to talk to the owner/bartender at 2 on the dot and was denied a drink. They need another bartender, and they need to learn how to serve drinks faster.
Other than that probably the best new bar in the city. I'd love to slag the place but it's only been open for a short time and I'm sure they'll iron out the kinks. Slow bartenders = less $ earned.

Mark Pesci / July 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM
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Bob - I don't think they have regular music programming (yet?). However, we have created a venue page for Get Well over at Just Shows and list events as they are announced. Congratulations to Al & the gang!

http://justshows.com/toronto/venues/get-well/158/

Buster Wolf / August 8, 2012 at 11:57 PM
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Good beer selection, and I at least like the concept of the games there (haven't actually played them). I found the acoustics to be really awful though. My table of five ended up leaving for the Lakeview because we couldn't hear each other talk without yelling, and the place wasn't *that* busy. Oh well. I'll probably give it another try some other time.

Jo / August 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM
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Get Well is now opened as of 5pm every day of the week.

Ilhan / September 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM
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despite their threats of phsciyal violence, they got back in their ugly truck and drove away. they were all talk, i guess. i kept the license plate number for a while. i never saw they again.zf | 07.27.04 - 1:43 pm

Josh / September 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM
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Horrible service, 20 min wait for $8 pints , staff is over worked, on site owner is rude. Not to mention a herd a guy had his wallet stolen the night we went. (the toilet smells like mold an piss), If your girl Friend is a pan handler shell fit right in, until you realize every drink will cost ya $8 unless you don't tip.

I have seen this before the owners are not cool they just think they can do a smash and grab for you cash because its supposed to be hip, and it just opened, its a bad area with down town top of the line nightclub prices.

Go to the Bistro 424 if I want to go to a dive, they have $10 jugs beer and mixed drink jugs.(3 shots)

I have seen lower cost at a strip joint by the airport! Its such a joke-

I am curious How long it will take for this place to slowly crash and burn.

Sad really, It looks like these guys were all buddies working in the serves industry and had an idea to open a bar, could be really cool, if they hire more staff and lower some of the prices, at least have a special. Including cabs the worst $114 I spent for two drinks(I bought 2 rounds for 2 people)

Ruby / September 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM
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Bar is great if you want to spend money.
Great job on making it look cool without actually being cool.
Drinks are to costly, wait time for a drink is crazy!
I mean crazy! I left after 30min being in line and went next door.

Ruby In replying to a comment from A really hot guy / September 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM
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your prob the owner, hot guy, fav bar WHATEVER

raspberry ketones / August 22, 2013 at 1:33 AM
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Perfectly indited subject material , Actually enjoyed studying.

brett / September 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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Love coming to this bar! fun place and delicious beers, the list makes you want to try them all, but if you need to know anything about the beers or get a little taster, Ben the bartender is the guy - he was so helpful and very nice! I will keep coming back for sure!

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