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Pour Boy

Photo: Dennis Marciniak

Posted by Dayna Winter / December 7, 2010

Pour Boy is what you might expect from a longstanding Annex pub. Except that it's not exactly in the Annex, and it's only been around for a few months. This Koreatown spot popped up just North of Bloor on Manning this summer. It's not a surprise that the place was packed during my visit, even for a Monday afternoon, as it seems to have cracked the success formula for Annex (and fringe-Annex) watering holes - cheap, dark, and unpretentious. But, it's not luck. Just after my date commented that the place felt like The Green Room, we discovered that it shares the same owners.

This year, businesses along Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst have been dropping like flies (T-cafe, Organics on Bloor, All Things Tea, to name a few), but in a student-rich 'hood like the Annex, you can't go wrong with comfort food and budget-friendly beer. The area's pubs are holding strong. Just beyond the Annex border, Pour Boy set up shop away from the crush. It was a smart move.

The space has of the intimate and eclectic vibe of The Green Room but on a much smaller scale, and seems poised to absorb Clinton's overflow. A roomy second floor handles peak hours, but I am more partial to the tiny main floor. Mismatched chairs and tables seat just over a dozen people against a backdrop of hodge-podge art and old European fixtures. It's cozy, and dare I say even romantic.

Menu-wise, Pour Boy is a bit confused. Standard pub fare is joined by Asian-inspired rolls, Indian entrees, Mexican staples, pastas and brunch. I am reluctant to criticize the food (which was only mediocre) because it was just so darn cheap. At less than $7 for entrees, I suppose you get what you pay for. My grilled cheese sandwich was pretty typical - factory bread and wimpy cheese - and needed a good dousing in ketchup. And I'm not even a huge ketchup fan. The soup special was cream of broccoli and was decent but also nothing remarkable. However, at $4.95 for the combo, it was a pretty substantial lunch that kicks fast-food butt any day.

My date chose the udon chicken stir-fry, dismissing my skepticism for stir-frys prepared in a pub. For $6.95, the plate was impressively heaped with sautéed fresh veggies, fat noodles and an ample serving of chicken. The udon, though, was a tad sticky and the sauce had that generic flavour of some bottled teriyaki-type sauces. We agreed that while the food wasn't spectacular, we were happy to leave warm and full-bellied for less than $25 including wine, tax and tip.

Despite two pages of more-than-cheap eats, the food isn't why I'll be back. It's the budget friendly booze that warrants repeat business. A pint of draught will run you $4.50, and offerings include premium local beers like Mill Street Organic. The weekly feature (this week was Pabst) is even more enticing, at $3.95. In my student days, I would have had a regular table at Pour Boy, and the Ryerson students next to us were already staking their claim.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Mill Street, Creemore, Wellington, Amsterdam, Sapporo, rotating specials
Signature Drink:
Pour Boy (Bacardi, Limon, Cherry Juice)
Bar Snacks:
Sweet potato Fries, Spring Rolls
Patio:
Yes
Music/Genre:
Classic Blues
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Students and 30-something locals
Hours:
10:30am-2am daily

Discussion

20 Comments

tootk / December 7, 2010 at 10:12 AM
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Being owned partly by the Green Room folks, is this place just as dirty?

what? / December 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM
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The green room closed!!!??

AV In replying to a comment from tootk / December 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM
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Editors: really? You deleted my original comment for what reason again?

tootk: Probably not yet, but give it time.

Bill / December 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM
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The Pad Thai is good, as is the Chow Mein. The Chicken Curry however had a watery sauce and was not good at all.

Place is pretty clean, but only because it's still new I bet.

Go for the beer. Eat when you've had several.

Cali / December 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM
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I can't believe The Green Room is gone for good. Such delicious pad thai. :( I'll try this place next time we have patio weather.

Greenroomdone / December 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM
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Green Room, Red Room, Nirvana, Last Temptation, Java House... winning formula: Same cheap food, same cheap drinks, same awesome atmosphere... lets hope they don't share the same critical health infractions that got the Green Room shut down for good.

Judylicious / December 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM
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"lets hope they don't share the same critical health infractions that got the Green Room shut down for good"

I've seen nothing over the past twenty years to form a basis for such a hope. I'm boycotting the entire chain until I see a change of ownership. Anything less would be positive reinforcement of a most misguided sort.

silly / December 7, 2010 at 2:11 PM
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The veg burgers are pretty decent too!

i loved going here all summer - one of the few places that usually had space on the patio.

pour boy, coffee pocket, pho rex, doug miller books... some great spots are opening in my hood :)

Fleet / December 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM
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Will it share the same slower-than-erosion service? I'm still waiting for a plate of fries I ordered two years ago.

nate / December 7, 2010 at 4:44 PM
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Knowing this establishment has the same owners as the Green Room is useful.

For reference, here's the sequence of inspection reports that got the Green Room shut down:

http://app.toronto.ca/food2/DineSafeMain?userRequest=view_history&ESTABLISHMENT_ID=9015804

Matt In replying to a comment from nate / December 7, 2010 at 8:34 PM
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To be fair, the Green Room seems to have been an especially outrageous situation compounded by terrible management, not just ownership. Other restos owned by these people have MUCH better histories. We're not talking fine dining, but acceptably clean.

Kaitlyn / December 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM
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According to one of the servers I chatted with, Pour Boy is owned by the same family as the Green Room was. I'd be loathe to dismiss a cheap and low-key new venue because the owner's, like, brother got shut down.

nateH / December 8, 2010 at 7:16 PM
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I enjoyed the Green Room, it was cozy upstairs on a winter night. Good Chicken Curry!

Dave / January 6, 2011 at 10:24 AM
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Who even eats at the Green Room? Sort of misses the point of the place...

Urp / April 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM
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Pour Boys is a great spot with an awsome vibe and amazing prices. So was the Green Room. Who cares if there were 'issues'. I ate there all the time and never got ill. People are far too sensitive about hygene. I wonder how many of our home kitchens would pass an inspection by the city. Anyways, you have to hand it to the owners...they have restos in very popular areas and yet resist the temptation for gouging and rediculous price inflation. Its a crime that Green Room is shut for good but at least there is Pour Boys I'll be a regular there for sure!

Saltarello / May 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM
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Those who love everything are despised by everything, as those who love a city - Toronto, in its profoundest sense, become the shame of the city, and their good is outwitted by the rudiments of middle rung poseurs, who have very little to look forward to in their own lives, being the refuse of a living amounting to nothing...

Jojohari / May 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM
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Hi Delicious and a Wonderous place for all to come and thanks for being fair for us readers, writers and food lovers in this area for this long awhile. This place Pour Boy Eatery & Bar is breathtakingly so delightful and as beautiful as the owner, painfully a nice place to dine with a guest or few and sadly is NOT Dirty at all. I find this place so clean in the Kitchen and Washroom too. LOL, this is it! around here, this area called Little Korean Town. Says the owner we're different and we seem to be doing alright around here and like i said before, they're related in blood but i can assure you they're not related in business. Tried most of the food in their menu, seem a little large for me. They should narrow it down a little so to keep the food fresher a little. All the best to Pour Boy and my guess by far the cleaness and neatness washroom in town. Good luck and fairness must be put in play here and everywhere!

Tamour khan / June 4, 2011 at 2:41 AM
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oh!mama meraa i like that place and wish to be there soon....

Zaiya / December 10, 2011 at 11:50 AM
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I just hope whoever writes these keeps witring more!

Catherine / July 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM
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I own a little shop in the neighborhood and have been curious about this place. Thanks for the review! I might just pop over there today for a quick bite :)

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