Seventeen Eighteen is the product of former Go Lounge owners Samantha Lerner and Alisa Sadler and Black Pug DMK owner and designer Daisuke Ito. They've transformed the old board game cafe space into a new watering hole near the bottom of Queen and Roncesvalles.
Aptly named after the address, Seventeen Eighteen fits perfectly into the area, much more so than the cheery concept of Go Lounge. That corner of Queen and Roncesvalles sometimes feels like the edge of the earth, tethered to the rest of Parkdale by a string of dusty antique shops and old hotels.
Upon entering you find nicely chosen details without too much theme or kitsch, one where the barkeep (the night I stopped by both Daisuke and Alisa were behind the bar) shakes your hand, asks your name and offers you a drink before you've even taken off your coat.
Seventeen Eighteen is the just kind of place. Where you are just as comfortable saddling up to the bar alone as you are sequestered in the corner with a lover or slapping the table in laughter with a group.
Opening on Halloween, Seventeen Eighteen is still a work in progress. The Simonelli coffee maker remains, as does the panini press, and the thick wooden bar. But they've painted it a moodier khaki, taken the board games out of the back room and installed a pair of Technic Quartz' for upcoming DJ sets.
Salvaged wood tables and a long banquette provide seating up front and to the side of the bar, lit either by bunches of hanging bulbs or a single half-muted one. With a focus on craft beer, they have Beau's, Mill Street Vanilla Porter, Junction Brewery IPA and Steam Whistle on tap, 7 bucks a pint.
The wall behind displays the wide range of bottles available, and I was happy to see, amongst the many, some of my favourites, like the blue Chimay, Noir de Chambly and beautifully labelled Church-Key Holy Smoke.
If craft beer is not your thing you can hit the fully stocked bar. Shots are $5.50. I could have had a fancier cocktail like the Oh Canada, with Canadian rye whiskey and maple syrup, but it sounded too sweet for me. That night they had another special, a pint and a shot for 10 bones, so I asked for Daisuke to make me up a boilermaker. Now that's a classic drink.
Delicious, and laden with consequences should you have too many. Washed down with a handful of the candied bourbon nuts ($4.00) though and I found myself having a wonderful time, more than happy to be holed up in this joint at the edge of it all.