Handlebar, courtesy of Rachel Conduit (of the east-end's Avro ), embodies the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." If you're a dedicated fan of the Avro, then there's not much about Handlebar that you don't already know.
Its motif is obvious. In a city where the bi-wheeled are often maligned and fodder for near civil warfare, Handlebar is a haven. There are bronzed bikes anchored on the wall, and for those who wear their cyclists' hearts on their sleeves, this place is almost cartoonishly perfect (hey bikers, I don't bike, but I like your zeal). It certainly made for a beautiful, cohesive space, and also lacked the smell and hard edges of a space reincarnated, providing a relaxed vibe that one typically associates with an older place.
The space itself is long and narrow, but has far more room than its east-end sibling. In a room at the back, you'll find a stage that's small enough to be more appropriate for comedic stand-up than music. The seating area is split into small tables, and there's a roomy patio littered with season-appropriate poolside chairs.
As with the Avro, Handlebar is not a space for those with fancy tastes. Beers ($6.25) and whiskies ($6.50 for a Maker's) are the focus here, which is not necessarily bad for the weary palate. Their bar menu is similarly unpretentious, serving homey favourites such as spaghetti and meatballs or tacos. The dishes vary daily, but hover around $6. I was sated.
There are places that go out of their way to push you out of your comfort zone, but that's not the case here. What I liked most about Handlebar is that intimacy is not only possible, but seems to be encouraged. Its Kensington location also proves to be an advantage; it not only works with all the other bars in the area, but answers to what they're missing. In short, if the Embassy was larger, Cold Tea lower-key, and Ronnie's more put-together, you'd have Handlebar. Having just opened last week, Handlebar may be the new kid on the block, but its potential to be a neighbourhood favourite is cinched. Cyclist or not, you'll be very welcome.
The 1st Sunday of each month. An intimate night of drowsy beats, loose bytes, droney feats, psychic lights. Focusing on live performances of experimental, ambient, drone, noise and electronic music and encouraging a warm, open environment with acts by people of all persuasions and backgrounds.
8:30pm | pwyc
the science of what ?
self help music
eight voice group which performs new and experimental vocal works led by alex samaras
ambient improvisations featuring:
angel scorcia / justin orok / brendan moratz / liam cole
9pm | $5
This month at Handlebar
• • Live Music and Interactive Visuals presented by Subtle Blend • •
Videos and Colors by Kazuya Ito as Toi Whakairo
Live sets by
SLVG (Experimental / Lofi / Hip Hop)
Cirroos (Electronic / Experimental / Beats)
Tired Girls (Techno / House / Experimental)
Hosted by ∆ N Z O L ∆
Closing DJ set by Yuri P.
Rollett: Chunky Blues and Heartbreaker Tunes
Lovers Touch: Dreamy Folk-Pop to Wash Away Your Worries
Idaho Stop: 5 Piece Folk-Rock Harmonies with A Modern Edge
Isaak Bonk: Gen Y Johnny Cash
Winter's Interlude 2017
Saturday, January 21st, 2017
Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave.
Doors open at 9 PM
Show start at 10 PM
$10 per ticket. If tickets are still available they will be sold at the door.
A musical showcase highlighting some of Toronto's brightest up and coming talent.
A portion of the profits will be going towards Art Starts, a not-for-profit organization that uses the arts as a vehicle to encourage social change in Torontoʼs underserved neighborhoods.
Featuring performances from Adria Kain, M.I.BLUE, LIZA, TOBi, Osei The Native, Stretch, Eden Shibeshi, Hazel, + Additional Acts!
We are back for 2017! You know the drill, all live sets from some of Toronto's best producers, performers and MCs.
Ted Kennedy - www.soundcloud.com/ted-kennedy-music
Animal Party - https://animalpartymusic.bandcamp.com/
"BAD NEWS" I
THEE BLITZKRIEG SLOP
aka GARAGE , SOUL, SIXTIES TRASH, ROCK AND ROLL
all vinyl dancing
THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY BLOWOUT!
with djs neil and derek
Illeagle Presents is a new and fun Toronto concert series curated by the caretakers of Illeagle Studio recording home of Zeus, The Golden Dogs, currently hosted by Handlebar.
To date, artists and friends of the studio have played for free and the money raised from ticket sales is lovingly invested into studio upkeep and gear. A lot of great people make great music within Illeagle's walls and these shows will ensure that the magic continues to be captured as magically as it can be.
The 3.0 instalment of the series will feature this talented bunch cats:
Taylor Knox Music
50/50 raffle draw with cool prizes and proceeds going to the Annex Cat Rescue
Doors 9:30pm $10 no advance tix
(member of HSY/SIGIL)
Colin Roy Gillespie
(member of Greys)
(member of Beliefs)
Sunday February 26
9:30pm | $5