Get Well

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.

Get Well

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