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Screen Lounge

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Robyn Urback / July 19, 2011

Screen Lounge is a sleek and sophisticated new lounge and rooftop patio, brought to you by the owners of Fran's Restaurant. Yes you read that right, and no, don't expect to get midnight pancakes and waffles here. Above the Fran's at Yonge and College, Screen Lounge and Fran's may share the same owners and general vicinity, but that's where the similarities end.

Opened less than a week, Screen Lounge is geared to the urban, young professional crowd. From its entrance on College Street, guests climb a narrow flight of black stairs to the main floor dining and lounge area with a fully stocked bar, chocolate brown booths, hanging decorative lights, and a plush ruby red bench seat spanning the west wall.

Another flight of stairs takes you to the rooftop patio, which has its own fully stocked bar, low red and black booths and table seating, and a very modest view of College Street and area. It's just three floors, after all.

Screen Lounge, true to its name, plays black and white movies in the evenings on four separate projector walls. "Old movies--the classics," manager Rafal Zwiedrynski says on the rooftop patio, motioning toward the east brick wall. "And we'll have the popcorn machine running too in the evenings."

Don't let the kernels fool you, however. Screen Lounge's menu is much more sophisticated, offering a lunch menu including gourmet Kobe burgers ($13), lobster melt sandwiches ($17), and an Asian infusion-meets-tapas dinner menu of Raw Bar sushi, appetizers, and entrees such as sake and miso-infused black cod ($27).

The cocktail menu includes several sakes, cognacs, and scotches, as well as seven beers on tap ($9/pint) and classic cocktails ($14). The signature drink--the Exclusive Screening ($14)--is a mix of premium vodka and Hpnotiq, along with passion fruit puree and a kiwi star. Screen Lounge also makes its own bitters for cocktails such as its Raspberry Fields ($16), which is a mix of raspberry vodka, Navan, macerated raspberries, and bitters.

The plan for Screen Lounge, according to Rafal, is to keep the rooftop patio open through the winter. "We want to build a roof, sort of like a glass dome," he says. "We haven't fully decided; we'll see how construction goes."

In the meantime, the patio is poised to take in summer crowds with fresh pitchers of sangria ($34) a live DJ on weekends. And for after last call, there's always pancakes and waffles downstairs.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Guinness, Blanche De Chambly, Boris Organic, Stella Artois, Krombacher, Sam Adams, Sapporo
Signature Drink:
Exclusive Screening
Bar Snacks:
Tapas, sushi rolls, popcorn machine
Patio:
Yes
Music/Genre:
Jazz
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Young professionals? We'll see.
Hours:
Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Discussion

42 Comments

Tony M / July 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM
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Wow - $9 pints? $34 sangria? I can think of better patios with more reasonable prices. It's still a Fran's - I think I'll go to the pilot for cheap beer and reasonable food. This patio is a hag wearing cheap silk.

Ball / July 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM
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"This patio is a hag wearing cheap silk"

Just liek the target clientele. Douchebags and twits in "classy" outfits that will eventually be puking in gutter out front and/or getting into fights with other overly-macho douchebags.

James / July 19, 2011 at 10:45 AM
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The owners just looked at the prices they charge for the swill Frans' costs, and said "well, it's at least 50% nicer than that, so we'll charge 50% more.

No one with a clue (or options) goes to Fran's anyway. As surprising as this idea is, the fact that it sucks isn't.

Paul Morrison / July 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM
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Wow! Such vitriolic comments! Sounds like an interesting new option to me - just because the owners also own Frans doesn't mean that it won't be good!

Kmac / July 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM
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Frans is one of my favourite places in the city -- can't wait to try out this new resto!

ouchie / July 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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decor done on the cheap

16 dollars for a drink who the f are you kidding

Kimberly / July 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM
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people associate price with quality...went there last night and i figured it was because they use premium alcohol that they charge what they charge. sounds like screen is doing their job and keeping the low end clientele (like the comments above) away from their concept!

i loved the place!

Slrank / July 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM
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The decor was not done cheap it is very nice and looks very good! The drink prices are reasonable and yes maybe pricy for someone who is talking like he is 16. maybe you should check it out before you judge.

ouchie / July 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM
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Clowns who order mixed drinks but specify which vodka or gin or rum they want are the biggest clowns of all.

You. Cannot. Tell. What. Liquor. It. Is. When. You. Mix. It. With. Mix.

JR / July 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM
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Premium prices need to be backed up by premium products. I look at the beer list and there's really nothing remarkable about it. I think you can get onto a nicer patio when you're paying $9 per pint, or $34 for a pitcher of sangria.

MrsPotato / July 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM
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douchebag central.

plus, fran's food it nasty-ass deep fried shit.

can't imagine what kind of crap they dump on a fancy plate and charge an arm & a leg.

daniel / July 19, 2011 at 5:40 PM
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i cant believe how much people hate other people's success.... very sad

samantha / July 19, 2011 at 5:53 PM
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this is very true...people always hate on others successes....its ok, the more comments (positive and negative) screen lounge gets the more attention and curiosity it brings. i went there last friday and i must say that they do have one of the best rooftops in the city.

RG / July 19, 2011 at 6:59 PM
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BlogTO, please, please, PLEASE install some kind of option to hide the comments or require registration or real names. The nastiness here is completely out of hand.

handfed / July 19, 2011 at 8:01 PM
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@ouchie have you ever tried a Long Island with Prince Igor vodka? Your point is not valid.

Ouchie In replying to a comment from handfed / July 19, 2011 at 8:30 PM
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ha ha ha no I prefer rum and coke with 2 limes but the rum has to be Bacardi Black - I swear I can taste it through the coke and the lime especially after 3 or 4 of them no bartender can fool me.

Adonis / July 20, 2011 at 1:33 AM
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I'll happily pay those prices just to be with a higher class crowd.

Tdotlounger / July 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM
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Checked it out last night - this is an excellent HOT weather patio. Lots of shade and a nice breeze.

Sticker shock was unwarranted though as the alcohol prices listed include tax! So it's $9 even for a pint - which is what a lot of places end up charging once the tax is factored in.

Great looking patio and the food is from a separate kitchen. All the food I tried was excellent.

Highly recommended.

Eric26 In replying to a comment from ouchie / July 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM
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Well you can definitely taste the difference in a (real) martini.

Thomas / July 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM
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i think i saw ouchie and mrspotato at hooters on a tuesday complaining about the $2 budwiser... i work across the street and i look forward to making this lounge my after work spot.

Thomas / July 20, 2011 at 6:36 PM
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i think i saw ouchie and mrspotato at hooters on a tuesday complaining about the $2 budwiser... i work across the street and i look forward to making this lounge my after work spot.

thomas / July 20, 2011 at 6:38 PM
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i think i saw ouchie and mrspotato at hooters on a tuesday complaining about the $2 budwisers....i work across the street and this is my new after work spot.

Laila / July 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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I went to screen lounge for the first time two nights ago. I found the prices extremely reasonable considering most cocktails are doubles with tax included and a premium alcohol. The chill music alongside the sophisticated atmosphere definately made it a hot spot to be this summer. People who make ignorant comments clearly have not visited screen lounge or simply can't afford the prices. Perhaps they should stick to the grimey bars that charge less and feel more comfortable in.

Mark / July 22, 2011 at 3:39 PM
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I just so happened to share the Sangria with my friends. The Sangria is on the pricey side, but with that said it's extremely delicious. They use real fruits - not the cheap citrus variety (lemons, oranges, and limes, which I've been told actually kills the flavour in the wine). In ours we had strawberries, banana, blueberries, and melon. The fruit at the bottom made for a boozie and delicious alcohol fruit salad which I promptly asked our server (Carmen I believe was her name) for an extra fork! It was worth the price in my books.

We also shared a few plates of food. I want to say your raw bar is delish! And if I may speak for my friends, we really liked the L.A style ribs. They were tender and so flavourful. Overall, this place was pretty bang on.

Christopher / August 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM
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I thought it was great! If you can't afford it dont complaint just don't go! Simple !

Jim / August 18, 2011 at 1:12 AM
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As a chef and avid foodie who's been to many of the city's finest establishments over the years, I went to Screen with high expectations to match their equally up-there prices. Sadly, for the money, I have to say that I came away unimpressed; for it's price point, the overall experience didn't deliver.

The sangria particularly, while decent, is extremely overpriced at $34, and I've had much better that were of equal, and better quality (and also chock full of ripe, sweet summer berries, not citrus) at equally upscale establishments - that only charged about $20. The pints of beer, at $9, are also not priced appropriately; Real Sports Bar, which aims at the rich executive crowd, doesn't even charge this much for pints... that alone speaks volumes. I'm not poor either, and can very much afford to eat anywhere I please in this city, but even I have to say that things are overpriced here... they obviously overspent on the decor, and their prices clearly reflect they're blatantly trying very hard to recoup their investment. I guarantee it won't be long before you see the prices come down somewhat just so they can remain competitive.

I'm not saying the place is bad - the food was decent, and I did enjoy some of their signature drinks... I just don't think you get what you pay for overall.

Alex / August 18, 2011 at 5:32 PM
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Hey Jim,
Seems like you havent actually been to Screen Lounge. I was just there recently and the prices your making up are false! You also forgot to mention they serve free popcorn with drinks and they have movies playing all night! Something you wont find at Real Sports or other local or upscale places. I loved everything about this new place, its like a secret hideaway that everyone will soon be hanging out at..except you :)

Jim / August 18, 2011 at 10:36 PM
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Alex, how am I making the prices up? The prices for the pitchers of sangria ($34) and pints of beer ($9) are even specified right at the top within the review by Robyn Urback... I think it's YOU who hasn't been there.

Jim / August 18, 2011 at 10:39 PM
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Also, who cares about the fact that they serve "free" popcorn? Popcorn is dirt cheap anyway, and what they charge for their sangria and beer alone more than covers the cost of their "free" popcorn. So they play movies, big deal... are you going to a lounge to watch movies, or socialize, drink and have a good time with your friends?

Jim / August 18, 2011 at 10:49 PM
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You're absolutely right about one thing though... "everyone" but me will be going there - for the prices they're charging, I can think of at least two dozen other places in the downtown core that are far more worth it and give you a better bang for your buck that I would rather, and do hang out at.

Greg / August 20, 2011 at 2:20 AM
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I went to this bar recently. A COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY. They charged $32 for a pitcher of Coor's Light. IT'S EXTORTION. They knowingly charged this amount despite our concern that they are a new bar that has yet to work out its pricing structure, let alone itself. I recommend no one ever go there. It's terrible upstairs - completely uncomfortable, terrible crowd - I totally do not recommend it. I've lived downtown for 9 years and this is the worst experience I've ever had. There's zero justification for the blatant arrogance of their pricing and the wholly lackluster atmosphere and service.

Tyson / August 27, 2011 at 8:55 AM
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I went to screen last night for the first time and I had an amazing time. I was tied up beforehand and had to make a late appearance so i didn't make it in time for the kitchen but i heard nothing but good things about the food from one friend and a couple of friendly strangers who had been there once before. I had heard the name "Screen Lounge" mentioned before but nothing in detail and therefore went with no expectations. I have to say, next time i want to go for drinks with my friends it will be at Screen. We were on the rooftop patio and the atmosphere was perfect in every way. the decor has a very relaxing feel to it and you feel as if you're sitting in your own living room until you look up and see the sky and remember where you are. i was with a group of six (including myself) and we each took turns buying rounds of drinks and i can honestly say when i got the bill for the round i bought i was happily surprised. it was a lot cheaper than i had anticipated. the crowd was perfect; well dressed, good looking and all very friendly. we quickly made friends with all the people around us and who ever we bumped into on the way to the bar. everyone was getting tipsy and having a good time. there was not one shit faced asshole to be seen. we all know the type, the guy in the club that trips over your shoe and spills his drink on you and then wants to get in a fist fight with you rather than apologizing. didn't see any of them at screen however saw many of them on the way home passing through club district. i gotta say i do love seeing those assholes getting arrested outside the pizza joint but what makes me happier is seeing their ripped up clothes with a black eye and that's exactly what they deserve for spending their parents money on the exact outfit you see on the manikin in the window of le chateau. instead of having these drunk assholes bumping into me all night spilling my drink i found myself sparking conversations and sharing drinks with complete strangers. everyone on the patio was all smiles and not one "mean muggin" idiot with something to prove. i cant speak for all the staff but the two bartenders and our server "danielle" were very friendly, polite and professional. The dj was unreal. he definitely did an amazing job. there was no top 40 bs that you hear in every other lounge, bar or club. not that i hate or cant stand top 40 but i hear enough of those songs repeated 5 times throughout the day on the radio and i sure as hell dont want to hear them when i go out. everyone i could see on the patio was loving the music and it def helped add to the positive energy in the crowd. besides a few surprise songs that i love but forgot about, it was as if i plugged in my own ipod and threw it on shuffle. it was unreal, towards the end of the nite i bought a drink for the dj and introduced myself and just told him good job. his name was Chris and he was very appreciative for the positive feedback. One last thing i can say on the topic of the music is it was at a perfect volume. loud enough that u could feel the vibes however not too loud so that u can actually have a proper conversation with the group of ppl around you, rather than having to scream in ur friends ear. im 25yrs old and work for a living and i have bills to pay, i am not rich and i have absolutely no issue with the prices they charge. however, if you are going out with the allowance your parents gave u for your chores this is not the place for you. reading any negative review written on this page has made me happy because for the MOST PART those reviews were really immature and ignorant and its nice knowing that next time i go to Screen lounge i will not be surrounded by those ppl.

sara / September 27, 2011 at 10:10 PM
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screen lounge is a classsyyyy place ! i go there every week patio is AWESOME ! i never seen anything like that in TO bc drink prices are NOT high ... they have nice music and AMAZINGG food

i Higly recommended !

A.k., / September 27, 2011 at 10:18 PM
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I went to screen lounge recently and I would totally come back. I found it to be really classy. I don't know what people were talking about when they said it was expensive. It's totally reasonable by any standards. Great drinks, music, food, environment, and on top of that screen lounge has really pretty waitresses. I'm just sayin.

Mario / September 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM
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I totally agree. The place has a great vibe and the food was incredible. Pasta and sushi in one restaurant is not something you see all the time. Also the service was awesome. I'm definitely planning on coming back.

George / October 20, 2011 at 5:36 PM
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I went at screen lounge yesterday, I had a tomato caprese salad. It was amazing. The staff also was nice and gentle.
I would totally recommend that place..
Ps. Prices are way cheaper than it used to be.

Jason / October 24, 2011 at 2:15 PM
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Ok, I have to say there are valid points on both the "for" and "against" arguments on here so far. My first visit was a warm Thursday night in September. There were two of us, we arrived shortly after 5 and said we were interested in drinks on the patio. There were about 4 other parties there already, but even though only 2 of the couches were occupied we were informed that all the other ones were "reserved." We were given a table at the back, near the bar--could have had some plus points like faster service and further away from the sound system that was far too loud, but unfortunately this was not the case. We had 3 rounds of drinks, and each time an empty glass sat between us for a good 15 min before we could flag down our server for another drink. There were 3 server/bartenders having loud personal conversations about 8 ft from us for a good 20 min, so they weren't busy. In fact, when we left 2 hours later there were fewer people there than when we arrived--and not a single one of these several "reservations" for the couch space ever showed up. If it's their policy to hold the couch space open for possible larger parties, even through the week when they're at a quarter of capacity, this is a dumb policy and will mean I won't be going back.

Jeni / October 25, 2011 at 11:04 AM
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I was just there on last Friday I had the best time food is amazing they have the best sushi ever service is excellent Dj was great I ll deff go back

Carly Shecter / November 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM
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I had my birthday party at Screen Lounge a couple of weeks ago, and they were great! Not only were staff so welcoming and helpful (e.g., providing delicious drink recommendations), but they also checked in on us frequently. The Dj was also awesome, totally open to requests, and the upstairs patio was amazing. And I am not sure why everyone keeps saying how expensive it is . . Mixed drinks were $6.50, and there was no cover. I will absolutely go back again, it's about time we had a nicer lounge in the area.

Carly Shecter In replying to a comment from Jason / November 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM
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Hi Jason,
Im really sorry, I think I was the one who had reserved the couch area that night for my birthday. But I think it's quite typical that lounges reserve areas for people getting bottle service or parties over 30. We showed up at 11 pm, so that is probably why you missed us.

Aaron Archambault / November 25, 2011 at 4:42 PM
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This place is great. The food is top notch and the staff friendly. My favorite place when I am in from NY. Love the sushi, it is not the typical hack sushi you get elsewhere in Toronto.

Kat / May 27, 2012 at 1:52 AM
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Just visited Screen Lounge tonight and had a REALLY good time. The drinks were on the slightly more pricey side... But I also did not feel incredibly ripped off. The patio was gorgeous... And on a beautiful night like tonight, it was a really awesome place. The DJ was amazing, and the crowd was definitely 25 and up. Only down side was that it wasn't all too busy... Which is a really big shame because the decor is really quite sophisticated... With all the condos in the area, hopefully more locals will find this little gem too...

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