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The Savoy

Photo: Jason Tavares

Posted by Jessica McGann / April 22, 2010

The Savoy on West Queen West, long-awaited by anyone who gets excited about fancy-sounding names and beautiful, architectural brick doorways, has finally opened. And it's... pretty good.

Yet another competitor on the Gladstone to Drake Hotel strip, the Savoy has all the usual features you've come to know and love in your west-end bars: a large mirror behind the bar, patterned black-and-white wallpaper in that budding-flower motif that was so popular in 2008, and a framed "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster with matching "Keep Calm and Carry On" typeface on the sign indicating the washrooms. A large flat-screen TV - always a plus for solitary down-and-out drinkers - graces one end of the bar.

While the bar end of the space is a bit common, the Savoy does have a few significant draws: the service is stellar, there's a robust and reasonably-priced menu, and the narrow front area lined with tables and French doors feels oh-so-European and very pleasant. In the summer, I'm telling you, there's going to be a clamour for front-row seats at the Savoy. Early birds can enjoy a lovely dinner at sunset and then stay into the night at what will become coveted seating. (Really early birds, and local residents, will be pleased to learn that the Savoy also has what looks like a very nice brunch menu.)

After dinner hours, young professionals and break-aways from the Drake Hotel start filtering in until they're jostling for place at the bar. On weekends, the Savoy employs a doorman, which I think tells you a bit about the way the owners want the bar to be - less about open-air dinners with a view of the sun setting, and more about attracting the Drake Hotel's flashy nightlife set. Even at dinnertime, dancy pop hits play just slightly too loudly, and serve to remind diners that although they serve food, the Savoy is primarily a bar.

While there's lots of quiet time to be had at the Savoy right now, my prediction is that things are going to get rowdy on warm Friday and Saturday nights as summer encroaches. That entrance-way is just too much to resist, and the space makes a pretty addition to what is set to become a very swank strip of Queen St.

There are seven beers on tap, live DJs Wed to Sun, including pre-motown and rockabilly-themed Black and Blues Sunday, a ton of wines and $3.50 drink specials. If West Queen
West is part of your nightlife, it's inevitable you'll hit this well-located and perfectly accommodating spot sometime soon. So don't bother resisting. Go early and get a good seat.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Guinness, Harp, Sapporo, Okanagan Pale Ale, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Chambly, Craft Ale, Amsterdam, Big Wheel
Signature Drink:
None, but $3.50 drink specials
Bar Snacks:
Full menu
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
Top 40s, dancy pop hits, pre-motown and rockabilly on Sundays
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Young professionals, break-aways from the Drake Hotel
Hours:
6pm-2am daily. Brunch on weekends

Discussion

29 Comments

Shazam / April 23, 2010 at 12:40 PM
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Had appalling service the one (and it will be the only) time I stopped in for a drink.
I ordered the merlot off the wine list and was brought a glass of wine about 10 minutes later the server returned and asked me how I liked my wine. I replied fine...and she answered with a smirk "just so you know, its the shiraz. We were all out of the merlot". WTF?? Who does that?
The other server, behind the bar, couldnt stop looking at herself in the mirror...
Not worth a visit.

Guido / April 23, 2010 at 1:38 PM
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three words: 9 0 5 hangout.

Guido / April 23, 2010 at 1:40 PM
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...and another thing:

what kind of d-bag calls a bar "the savoy" ? utterly lame.

why don't i open a poutine shop and call it "the ritz".

for christ's sake, why is so hard to open to be original in this town?

amy / April 23, 2010 at 2:16 PM
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We stopped in for their newly advertised brunch last weekend. The place was empty, except for one other table, but the decor was cute and we knew the bar had just opened the previous month. It takes time to get a following!

My friend asked if they had an espresso machine. Nope. No OJ either. And only one tea selection. Not a big deal to any of us, but the waitress started looking at us with daggers in her eyes. We all ordered regular coffees and the "Savoy Breakfast", a $7 plate of 3 eggs, home fries, and bacon.

We spent 35 minutes waiting for the food, with no refills on the coffee, and a clear view into the kitchen where the three or four cooks stood around talking and joking. The waitress never came over with any reason for the wait, or to get us refills on coffee or water.

When the food finally arrived, it was fine. Scrambled eggs were cooked properly, the bacon was crispy but not burned. However, each plate had exactly six tiny burnt but undercooked potatoes on them. Exactly six. We also got refills on the coffee when she brought the food.

When we paid for the bill, the waitress was just as snotty as before. I don't know why; we hadn't complained about anything, even though we probably should have with the food taking that long for no obvious reason.

Our conclusion was that the place is nicely decorated and they're on the right track with the simple menu offerings and very reasonable prices. (Brunch for 4 for under $30? Crazy!) But the kitchen and staff are simply not ready for prime time. Even worse, they don't seem to want customers at all.

Brunch is a serious business in Toronto. Screwing it up isn't even that easy to do. But after this visit, we'll walk on past every time.

JR In replying to a comment from Guido / April 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM
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I find it funny that anywhere not filled to the brim with the ironically-dressed creative type is automatically labelled "905". Find someone from the so called "905" anywhere west of bathurst and you get a prize.

Jake In replying to a comment from JR / April 25, 2010 at 2:17 PM
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The entire strip of Ossington is flooded with them.

Sean In replying to a comment from Guido / April 25, 2010 at 3:58 PM
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Guido, I couldn't agree with you more on using old names that don't even make our city shine with uniqueness.

More crap names, New York Fries, New York steak, deep dish Chicago Pizza, Philadelphia cheese-steak, etc. Why bother using american names? Why a passport to go to the states? (That's a whole other topic).

It's time more and more Toronto businesses use unique names from their area of the city or street names. Family names of the owners could be neat too. It made Dave Thomas a millionaire naming his burger chainafter his daughter Wendy. Mrs. Fields, the cookie lady named her business from her last name.

Anyway, I just had to make my point here.

I'm off to the Drake. It opened in 1890 as D. A. Small’s Hotel. D... as in Drake. I'll raise my glass to Mr. Small.

fiveteamer / April 25, 2010 at 6:24 PM
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Why would you need PBR on tap?

Haha / April 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM
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This is the most retarded comments section this month.

seanm In replying to a comment from fiveteamer / April 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM
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Because for some reason it became cool and ironic to drink such a terrible beer. Its is usually reflected in the appearance of those who drink it though.

seanm In replying to a comment from fiveteamer / April 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM
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*Its poorness

t / April 25, 2010 at 8:49 PM
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pbr is 3.50... it's cheap beer, it's a decent beer and very popular on queen street I can't see why you wouldn't have it. I have been there and they have a fairly wide selection of beers actually on tap and in bottle.

great place for some cheap drinks after work and later, even better open on sundays.

pdalep / April 25, 2010 at 10:31 PM
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I ordered 3 Rum & Cokes. Received them in large coffee mugs. Is there a problem with the dishwasher?

pdalep / April 25, 2010 at 10:37 PM
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Ordered 3 Rum & Cokes. Received them in large coffee mugs. Is the dishwasher broken?

mr. tunes / April 26, 2010 at 1:49 AM
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i went there last week on a thursday night. it was great. the vibe was nice and small, and the staff were friendly. i just had a few beers so all the comments above are a little strange to me. oh well.

the sound system needs a bit more boom though.

citizenkyle In replying to a comment from Guido / April 27, 2010 at 2:46 PM
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That's 3 numbers and 1 word....

citizenkyle In replying to a comment from Guido / April 27, 2010 at 2:53 PM
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That's three numbers and one word...

cmw / May 1, 2010 at 4:37 PM
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went there a few weeks ago on a monday night. went for dinner, stayed for drinks. food was tasty with awesome presentation. drinks were cheap and kept flowing all night. the server was really sweet. i'd definitely go again.

yellowtail / May 16, 2010 at 11:18 AM
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I went last night (sat june 15) and there was a really sweet dj but I can't remember his name. Does anyone know?

lisa / August 14, 2010 at 9:11 PM
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I went there for brunch today Aug. 14th, 2010-- I picked it because their breakfast was cheaper than the Gladstone's and I just wanted breakfast-- not too picky. I ordered the Savoy Breakfast for seven dollars and a coffee. The coffee was in a nice big cup and was very good. The eggs and sausage were a little overcooked, but nothing too serious. The home fries were really good and so was the rye toast. My server was extremely nice and friendly and I didn't wait very long for my food. Not spectacular but enjoyable.

max / November 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM
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went into the savoy the other night for an oldschool jam they were playing everything from motown, roots rock, glam and vintage hip hop and the crowd was great - beer was reasonably priced, service was as fast as they could be, and the dj was on fire!

only couple douchebags made it past the doormen who were great guys - chatted with him and the door guy for the deuce while i was out for a smoke - the staff has changed since the summer and you can feel it right away. once you step into the place the too cool for you mentality is gone - it seems the manager has found staff who are comfortable with who they are and with what they are doing - this bar is going to be my local for sure

try the coconut green curry - with the spring rolls - you will love it!

dave In replying to a comment from seanm / November 18, 2010 at 11:52 AM
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who cares if they have pbr on tap? You don't like it, don't drink it. It's a business and businesses cater to what's popular. pbr sells like hot cakes on queen west regardless of why.

Local / December 14, 2010 at 3:19 PM
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They have tons more beers on tap than what is listed there.

Beau's, Flying Monkey Hoptical Illusion and Netherworld, Peelers, and a bunch of local brews like Duggan's # 9 IPA by the bottle.

Good food, good beer, nice ambiance, awesome bartenders!

firmware / January 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM
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It was like Hamilton in there. If that's not 9 0 5 I don't know what is. The worst part about it was that everyone was getting down and dirty on the dance floor in their winter jackets and THAT just made me feel uncomfortable.

Jojohari / December 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM
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i was over at the savoy on the 18 dec 2011 at about 10pm or so and the place was totally crowded with beautiful people. guys and gals were all dress up nicely for an evening out. Good to see that in old queen west! Plenty of food and desserts too at the huge large table near the kitchen. They were all looking and tasted so delicious. Plenty to drink for us all and all around us in our group. What a pleasant evening that was. Thank you to all the savoy staffs. Most definitely will be back soon. Kudos to all and a merry christmas and a happy new year to all torotonians!

Moe / August 12, 2012 at 1:43 AM
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HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE. Some dbag dropped a shot glass on my ankle at the bar. The bartender then took a shot of the floor with his iphone and then gave the phone to the dbag to take a shot of my leg. when I reacted and pushed the phone away and inquired as to what was happening, nothing was done. we're talking ZERO customer service here folks. Ladies, stay far, far away. The worst bar in the city.

Kevin / August 30, 2012 at 5:46 PM
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$4 jameson, nice hip hop and r&b, and a great place to kick off your night.

NNN / December 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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The worst place ever ! My friends and I were quietly chatting , drinking and dancing . The manager was chasing us all night long. Every single time, we decided to move and change the table, he was following us and starring at us in a very unfriendly way. We decide to ignore him and continue to party.
Suddenly after 1 hour, out of nowhere the security guard asked us to leave. Why? The manager did not want us there since we were not buying drinks.
We were totally surprised by that allegation. Indeed, we were actually drinking at that time and ordering drink was the first thing we did when we came in Savoy.
After clarifying the situation to the security guard and demonstrate the, the security guard was quite understandable and decided to leave.
But few minutes later, while our drinks were not even finished yet and we were dancing, the security guard came back and asked us again to leave for the exact same reason.
That night, I can tell that I was another victim of racism at Savoy. Indeed, it seems that black females are not welcomed there…

Sarah / February 4, 2014 at 2:14 PM
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savoy is great! been for karaoke, weekend dj sets and week days for cheap drinks. the food is decent, especially for the cheap prices and the drinks are super cheap. $10 triple bar rail is sweet! it could use a bit of renovations, but who cares. cheap drinks is all you really want right.

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