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Restaurants

The Marquis of Granby

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on June 7, 2013 / review policy

Marquis of Granby TorontoThe Marquis of Granby opened quietly last week on Church, north of Gerrard – the site previously home to landmark gay destination The Barn for the last 20+ years.

The new owners plan to cash in on all the nearby university students, but with so much space the venue really is more suited to its former function as a club. The first floor seems too vast and looming to radiate the warmth and coziness of a classic pub, not to mention there are two expansive floors above.

Marquis of GranbyAn English pub in name alone, neither the decor nor menu really speak to the theme. The sparse adornments (do TVs count?) don't make much of a positive impression. There's one piece of vintage advertising-styled artwork that I'm told was commissioned from John Leacy, but it feels a bit like a consolation prize considering the oversized cowboy mural he originally painted on the South exterior wall has now been blacked-out "in compliance with bylaws."

Marquis of GranbyThe menu plays it safe with barroom staples that go well with pints of Mill St. and Steam Whistle ($7). There's classic pub grub like nachos, burgers, wings and plenty of fried finger foods. Think jalapeno poppers, deep fried pickles and mozza sticks) with a couple lighter selections like the Garden Green Salad ($7) and Bruschetta ($5.50) to offer a hint of freshness. Chatting with General Manager Chris Karachalios leads me to suspect that most of it isn't made from scratch.

Marquis of GranbyWe try the Banquet Burger ($12) and a pound of Wings ($12), but I have nothing to wax on about since I'm pretty sure the patty came out of a box.

Marquis of GranbyThe wings, however, offer a bit of redemption. They're definitely plump and meaty, the batter is seasoned before being doused in honey garlic and the come served with a buttermilk dill dip and veggie sticks.

Marquis of GranbyUpstairs is on open offer to anyone looking to host a club night or dance party and is already booked for some queer dance parties in the coming weeks. On the main floor the best novelty is the digital jukebox, controlled via free iphone app (it also doubles as a photobooth).

Marquis of GranbyPerhaps it makes sense to target the college crowd, though I'd credit even the most budget conscious among them with more discerning tastes these days. Perhaps in the end all that will matter is that cocktails are $6 and they serve the house, Marquis Lager by the big'un (that's a three litre pitcher) for $25.

Marquis of GranbyPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

9 Comments

Jason Paris / June 7, 2013 at 10:48 am
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It's north of Gerrard for the record (south of Carlton).
Christopher King / June 7, 2013 at 11:09 am
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One of the things that ended my relationship with the Barn back when it's original owner was still alive was when all the seating and booths were removed from the first floor in an attempt to pack more people in on the first floor as an alternative, older club venue.
I don't mind dancing, but I also like going to a bar and sitting down with my friends, and actually being able to hear what they're saying too.
Cyril Sneer / June 7, 2013 at 11:20 am
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Went here a few days ago and was thoroughly unimpressed. I found the he menu options were limited and very unexciting. I ordered a BLT and it was bland and tasted of something I'd throw together at home. The music was really "off" as well. I know its a jukebox system but sitting in the vast expanse of the main floor and hearing nothing but awful 90s rock (think limp bizkit) all night was a huge turn off. The whole place was in general just didn't work; I will likely not be returning anytime soon.
Mike / June 7, 2013 at 05:29 pm
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Ugh, don't mean to be the beer snob but when a place doesn't even TRY their asking for it lol :P

C'mon Mill St and Canadian, can you be anymore boring? To stand out you need to be a combination of same and different. This place is just same - closed in a year!
J / June 7, 2013 at 05:39 pm
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The exterior makes it look like some kind of crackhouse. Also - florescent lights? That's gotta be killing business.
jetson / June 7, 2013 at 06:12 pm
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Wow. I went in midweek and I couldn't believe what dump this place is. It's a like student bar in London ON. The food was dreadful. It looks and feel like a methlab.
J / June 10, 2013 at 01:41 pm
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Great place to grab a beer and wings!
kmp / June 13, 2013 at 02:54 pm
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I have been to "The marquis" a couple of times now - and I am impressed with the atmosphere, the staff, the service - and I would highly recommend it to different people.
I think I found a new "Watering hole".
And to those above you had "less than flattering" things to say about the Marquis - there are a 1001 other places for you to go and spend your $$ at, but let those of us who do like the new "niche" enjoy it in peace!
Randy Callaway / August 29, 2013 at 07:04 am
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I like the new Marquis of Granby. Comments above were really harsh -Methlab? Really. Sometimes I wonder if it's the competition singing their praises. My burger was lean and prime quality. Some Bars and pubs that cram a lot of tables together is horrid. Do you want to know what the person beside you is eating or hear their conversation? Three cheers for wide open spaces!

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