Bathurst Local 322
Bathurst Local 322 is the sweetest little bar on Bathurst. Set to be the neighbourhood local, the spot - formerly a private residence - underwent months of construction to prepare the bar.
The pastel walls, delicate wallpaper, wooden tables reminded me of the old working class tearoom culture of '50s Britain, where you'd stop in to chat with some mates around the table, in the day time have a coffee or a cuppa and a simple sandwich or biscuit, and come afternoon or evening share a few cheap bottles or have a glass of wine, feeling like it was an extension of your living space, or at least as welcoming.
There is no big wooden bar or horseshoe or wrap around perch, just a window, something like a cantina, at the back, where Glen, the owner pops up and serves drinks out of old-time glasses. One of the few major features is a vintage oven that houses candles and such for the bar and only lends itself to the domestic vibe.
The menu also hearkens back to a simpler time. There are just three beers- Amsterdam Boneshaker, Kensington Augusta Ale and Mill Street Organic - all priced at $5.31 each. Wine, red or white, comes is a stem-less tumbler for $4.42.
The cocktail list is also reserved, with five choices for $7.96. "The Last Word" is gin, chartreuse, maraschino and lime, while "The Bathurst Blackout" is rum, Avera and bitters, and described as 'for when you need to forget'. Sounds like liquid remedy for the lead character in Brian Moore's "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" - she'd fit right in here.
Music is kept present but low, so you can carry on a lively conversation instead, and with the place converting to a lunch joint during the day (the Bathurst sandwich, a quiche and a green smoothie will be available, all for $3.53 plus taxes), the whole place has a rather civilized, simple feel.
I sipped my drink and watched the skaters carve their arches into the ice across the street at the Harry Gairey rink, and thought what a nice evening that would make this winter, skating, and then a cup of some warming to the bones.