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The Savoy

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.


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