Roxy on King
Roxy on King is the reincarnation of the Roxy Bar . The King West hangout boasts pool tables, ping-pong, and pub food.
I visited Roxy on King on a Tuesday night around 9 p.m. - the perfect time of night when Late Night Eats Time finally eclipses Dinner Time and we shift our palates from wine with meat and three veg to what we've really been waiting for: beer and snax.
Roxy on King is larger and more open than the original Roxy. It has a modern feel with exposed brick, open space and high ceilings, and an elevated section at the front with classy leather seating, tables, and huge glass windows so the passersby on King Street can peer in and catch a glimpse of people hanging out.
After the elevated section at the front of the space, there's a bar lining one side of room and a row of pool tables on the other side plus a ping-pong table a the back (both table types are $24/hour to use).
With a cool pinball machine across from the pool tables and various TVs hung around the room, Roxy on King is almost comparable to a smaller scale Dave & Busters , but with more laidback young professionals.
It's surely a magnet for less highstrung new dads who, at the age of 31, already have major life regrets and really just need to win this one ping-pong match-not because it actually matters, but because these are the small victories that make life bearable when you've been thrust unwittingly into fatherhood and a life that is dictated by mortgage payments and mason jars of Canadian Tire money.
Drink-wise, Roxy on King has a good selection of wine, beer, and spirits. I chose a vodka soda ($6.50, made with Stoli, though Roxy has 5-10+ varieties of each base liquor) which was refreshingly strong and a bargain considering the going price of drinks in the area. Roxy on King also has as a solid food menu, which I was excited to try (it was, after all, Late Night Eats Time).
In the interest of being healthy, I tried the arugula and avocado salad ($12), which was deliciously fresh, with lots of creamy avocado and dotted with strips of salty sundried tomato that made the salad feel surprisingly indulgent.
In the interest of being true to myself, I also tried the signature nachos ($15), which were phenomenal. Truthfully, I am a nacho apologist. My friends constantly rail against the fact that a plate of chips and cheese is often one of the most expensive things on a pub menu, but I maintain that nachos that are done well are worth every penny.
These nachos are done very well. The chips are smaller and rounded, a gamble compared to the usual chip structure seen at most nacho institutions. The risk pays off tenfold when the hedonist tries - and succeeds! - in dipping the appropriately sized chip in the sour cream.
But! It's not just sour cream. No, there's cilantro in the sour cream, a classy and respected touch, even for this cilantro hater. The cheese is distributed evenly on each chip, and is melted to perfection.
Onions and fresh tomatoe cubes are generously sprinkled on the chip like the first drops of heaven-sent rain during a crop-devastating drought.
Jalapenos and banana peppers sit alongside the other toppings, just visible enough for children and the elderly to remove them from their portions, and, for the rest of the population, to act as a gentle reminder for the salty-spicy-sour bites to come. Perfection.
After I emerged from my high calorie k-hole, I noticed that the bar has gotten significantly busier. There were people in suits playing the various games, people in jeans and backpacks hanging out at the tables, and people in sports jerseys standing at the bar, watching TV and chatting forcibly.
As I left Roxy on King, there were already people waiting to take my seat at the bar. They too must have come to Roxy in anticipation of Late Night Eats Time, and luckily, they would not be disappointed.