Poor Romeo Toronto

Poor Romeo

Poor Romeo is the sibling bar to Pinkerton’s across the street, run by the same people, Marc Baglio, Andy Wilson and Adam Graham.

Where Pinkerton’s is emo chic with a name that references an old Weezer album and Asian-inspired bar tapas, Poor Romeo’s influences are rock n’ roll and ’murricah all the way.

Poor Romeo Toronto

The name a nod to a Thin Lizzy song, Poor Romeo revamps tavern eats like smashed burgers, fried chicken sandwiches and shrimp cocktail.

Poor Romeo Toronto

The dim spot used to be home to a divey Chinese restaurant, the kind that seemed to serve more daytime beers than food.

It’s been transformed into a local-style bar, not intimidatingly nice but not scarily disgusting.

Poor Romeo Toronto

Ten can be crammed into a chef’s table at the back with a direct view of the pass.

Poor Romeo Toronto

A cheekily named section of “Raw Deals” contains market price old school shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell, or, of course, a “platter of both cuz you fancy” ($28).

Poor Romeo TorontoServed on a kitschy bed of seaweed, P.E.I. Cascumpecs are the tiniest bit gritty though I do watch them being shucked and inspected at the bar, but shrimp are big and juicy.

poor romeo torontoThe “PR Smash Patty Burger” ($12) from the “Pick It Up & Crush It” section uses a blend of brisket and chuck for the two moist but crispy patties smashed flat on the griddle and topped with their own house-made American cheese (made simply from good cheese, milk, and a stabilizer). The soft toasted bun is made in house, too.

Poor Romeo Toronto

The “Southern Man” ($13) fried chicken sandwich can also be found in this section, a generous portion of crispy bird dredged in Old Bay with pickled cabbage slaw, served on another toasted house bun.

Poor Romeo Toronto

A 12 oz. bavette steak ($30) from the “For the Whole Crew” section incorporates Latin American influence with an Argentinian-style sharing platter dolloped with punchy chimichurri and chilis.

The meat’s been given a two-hour sous vide before being seared to medium rare, served with whatever veg is around, today fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Poor Romeo Toronto

Cocktails ($13) come courtesy of Charlie Lamont of DaiLo, LoPan and BarChef.

Poor Romeo Toronto

The “Gimme Shelter” is a tower of Altos Blanco and Lillet Blanc with an herby, citrusy mix of muddled grape, lemon sherbert, dill and apple rounding it out.

There’s also a pina colada on offer made in their own slushie machine with three types of rum, coconut milk and vanilla.

Poor Romeo Toronto

An ode to local beer makes up the chalkboard draft list: try a beefy Dieu Du Ciel! Aphrodite Stout ($9) with whatever you’re picking up and crushing.

Poor Romeo Toronto

These folks are bringing the creativity and passion they’ve always had as musicians to this mini “Gerrones” area empire.

Poor Romeo Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Poor Romeo

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