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The Ossington

Photo: Eugen Sakhnenko

Posted by Guest Contributor / June 11, 2009

In the midst of my weekend shopping a couple months ago I ducked into The Ossington for some sustenance and shelter from the cold. The beautiful barista Danielle warmed me from the inside out with a Bailey's-spiked Americano. Danielle and Jimmy Mills, the DJ du jour, were contemplating the evening's set list. They had a sweet mix of hip-hop, R&B, soul, and funk lined up for their Saturday night crowd. It was the calm before the storm.

Manager Pat Colosimo was looking cool and collected behind the bar. When I commented on the 'calm before the storm' vibe he corrected me. 'This is more like when the thick black clouds gather together and start spitting rain,' he explained. Pat was juggling late booze deliveries and a last minute request to host a party for all the staff members of The Drake Hotel, The Beaconsfield, and The Kitchen. As I watched Pat take care of business in his nonchalant but caring way, I realized something. The Ossington is Ossington's next best thing.

Located in the old Gallery 61 just north of Queen on Ossington, the newish bar is appropriately dedicated to 'Keeping the Art on Ossington.' The place is staffed with a core group of the neighbourhood`s most flagrant working artists. Danielle the beautiful barista is a photographer. Jubal Brown, the barman, does weird and wonderful audiovisual art. He gets to show off once a week at his theme night called Intervention Monday. From heavy metal to Elvis, you never know what will surface at Jubal`s party.

Thursday is another safe bet for a good time at The Ossington. It's the bar's busiest night and is unofficially called The Shit Show. At The Shit Show artist friends are invited to take over the sound system and iPod DJ the night away. The resulting organized chaos feels like your best friend's neighbourhood house party without the Parcheesi or stale pretzels.

I wasn't the only one looking for shelter on that chilly Saturday night. Lawrence, one of the poverty-stricken locals, popped in for his daily Americano on the house. Danielle greeted him warmly and accepted a cigarette as payment. Lawrence comes by the bar every day for his coffee. He has been known to pay in pre-packaged chicken breasts and vintage clothes on good days, but tobacco is his usual currency. A strong pulse beats away beneath The Ossington's slick designer decor. West-enders will appreciate this pretention-free, community art hub with drinks and dancing to boot. Lawrence is only one of the many locals who call The Ossington a home away from home.

Writing by Jennifer Toole

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Creemore, Mill St., Urquell, Grolsch
Signature Drink:
Bailey's-spiked Americano
Bar Snacks:
Grilled cheese, Hungarian sausage
Patio:
No
Music/Genre:
DJs play hip hop to soul to rock
Live Music:
No
Who Goes There:
Ossington locals, artists
Hours:
Mon-Fri 5PM-2AM, Sat-Sun 12PM-2AM

Discussion

2 Comments

Sam / March 13, 2011 at 7:08 PM
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This being Canadian Music week, a group of friends and I decided to take advantage of the extended bar hours. We also unwittingly ducked into this place, it was TERRIBLE. If you are looking for douchebags to hit on your girlfriend this is the spot for you, one of them actually put on a blatantly fake British accent. The highlight of the night was when the OWNER of the bar straight up STOLE about 4 untouched beers off our table not ten minutes after serving us, then kicked everyone out as they were 'closing'. Aside from being illegal it was really frustrating to have the guy hide behind his bouncer (who was actually a pretty cool guy) while he basically robbed us of about 30 dollars in drinks. AVOID THIS BAR!

sam / March 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM
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TERRIBLE!
Omg some friends and I hadplans that fell through at Brooklyn bar (due to the massive line up) so we decided on this place because it was closeby.
Big Mistake.
Music was way too loud. The dj couldnt decide between terrible R&B or Euro. And his idea of dj'ing was just adding lightning bolt effects after each song.

Beers were moderately priced, but the loud terrible music combined with hot sweaty people with nowhere to sit killed it.

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