Bistro 422 is a College and Bathurst Streets dive that many know of but few remember. Some details that will refresh your memory, though, might be; mixed drink pitchers, a full-page shooter list, a decent food selection and the random compilation of music that is a lot of fun after all of the above.
Like a few other spots in the immediate area (Toby's, Sneaky Dee's ), Bistro 422 - or the beast, as many call it - is a cheap, laid back spot for late night food and drink.
The crowd includes an eclectic mix of patrons that vary in age and intention, but students/former students and young locals are the norm. The older crowd is looking for cheap drinks and a bite to enjoy with other locals, or watching sports on one of three big screens. For the younger crowd, Bistro functions as a jump-off point, a Bar-hop stop or just a place to wind down.
This is one of the cheapest spots on College. $9.73 buys you a pitcher of local on-tap beers like Amsterdam Blonde, Steamwhistle, Amsterdam brewery's Two Fisted Stout and their popular house lager. $11.51 gets you a 32 oz. Mixed drink mini pitcher that includes all standard mixes. I try the killer Kool-Aid cocktail (vodka and melon liqueur), and it tastes like a liquefied Jello shot. You can get the same pitchers filled with sangria mixes, pina colada or strawberry daiquiri, for a similar price.
Out back is a quiet, open patio surrounded by trees. The decor is run down, but if the weather is right, it's a nice spot to be. It's also heated in the winter. In between bar and patio is a pair of fairly raunchy, but thankfully private, bathrooms.
Though the experience here isn't incredibly memorable, there's something about this place that has made it a local favourite - it's exactly what's expected. Besides that, there is always a friendly crowd, and awesome bartenders (some who have worked there for nearly 20 years). If you spend too much time there, though, you probably won't make it up the entrance stairs.