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The Peacok

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Chandler Levack / October 18, 2011

The Peacok is a dark and narrow hallway situated in the remains of beloved King West establishment The Underground Garage. Unlike the Garage, which wore its dive bar status proudly (down to the brassieres tacked up on the ceiling by the more willing patrons), The Peacok attempts an upmarket "rock n' roll" experience by way of the scumbag. Here is a dank basement bathed in pricy blue and purple flood lights with exposed brick walls and LCD screens advertising cigarettes everywhere you look. With its negligible service, overpriced drinks and rock n' roll posturing, The Peacok might just be the worst bar on King West.

Where do I begin? Perhaps with a drink, which will set you back $7 for a pint of Creemore. To be fair, a gin and tonic is a less ludicrous $6 and the bar features $4 domestic bottles and rail drinks on Ladies Night. (But ladies, please do not go here! The toilets were smeared with excrement!) Though we were the only patrons on a Thursday evening, both bartenders ignored our beseeching looks until we begged them to take our order. Then they asked if we had a light. How can a bar that has been operational for almost a year not have its own lighter?

The centerpiece of the bar's threadbare décor is a lit up sign that acts as the establishment's mantra, reading, "here's to 5 a.m. cabs, instead of 5 a.m. runs." One bartender explained that it was the experience of "being wasted going home in a cab at five in the morning and passing joggers on the street" that the bar holds as its credo. On Twitter, The Peacok describes themselves as a place "where we know what you drink...and who you took home." But I cannot imagine wanting to stay past last call to fondle around on one of The Peacok's disgusting off-white couches (there is minimal seating with a capacity for maybe 70 people), for it would be like blacking out in hell.

I should try and end this review on a positive note for the establishment's sake. Um, there are two foosball tables? And the bar has good acoustics (if not great sightlines) for live acts. (We caught a bit of Angela Saini's Indie Week set and it was totally Sixpence None The Richer in the best way possible.)

But if you want to listen to rock music in a narrow bar that is genuinely dingy, it will take you two minutes to walk over to the eternally charming Wide Open. The Peacok might brand itself as a rebellious place to get fucked up, but it is the drinking equivalent of 30 Seconds To Mars. Plus, even CBGB's cleaned their toilets.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Creemore, Guinness, Strongbow
Signature Drink:
“The Burt Reynolds,” a spiced rum and butterscotch shooter
Bar Snacks:
Alternative rock in the vein of Rancid and Red Hot Chili Peppers
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Clueless corporate rockers, the dammed
5:30 to 2am daily

Other Cities: Montreal