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.
- 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
- Garage/indie rock from the 70’s and beyond
- Live Music:
- Who Goes There:
- Beer aficionados, cyclists, the tattooed and bearded, typically 25+
- Daily 8pm – 2am