The Bluebird is a small neighbourhood bar and venue with a secret back patio and daily drink specials.
The name Bluebird lends a nostalgic connotation to the space that used to be home to Belljar Cafe, replacing some of Sylvia Plath’s angst with a little Judy Garland sparkle. Like its predecessor, Bluebird is still home to craft beer and artsy events.
The interior remains largely the same, a table with the words “bell jar” and a skull sketched on it that I’ve always loved still at the back.
There’s also still a huge chalkboard wall at the front and a mirror set above the big front window, but the bar’s been redone in donated barn board from up north.
A charcuterie board ($18) is laden with fatty prosciutto, spicy Calabrese salami and much more mild thickly sliced hard farmer’s sausage from nearby Gourmeats. Mabel’s, even closer by, provides the baguette.
This is paired with salted almonds and a pickled mushroom and turnip mix, garlic stuffed pepperazzi, and zinging Dijon aioli actually all made in house by a chef who comes in during the day.
The same chef makes bang up kettle chips ($4) and the potent dill pickle aioli they’re served with. Light, airy and crispy, these are much less greasy and oily than your standard bagged chip.
Four taps for draft beer ($7) always consist of two Beau’s, the Lug Tread Lager and Full Time IPA, along with High Park’s Across the Pond Ale, with one tap rotating seasonally.
A Gose Cuervo from People’s Pint ($6) represents the wider and far more eccentric range of options in bottles and cans, this one a sour beer aged in tequila barrels with subtle lime and salt flavours.
$10 cocktail standards include a basic but cute rocks margarita made with Altos tequila, triple sec, lime juice and a little sugar, a generous amount of salt around the rim of the mini fish bowl glass.
Live music here might include smaller duos and trios playing jazz and acoustic sets, maybe even Maritime-style kitchen parties on Sundays with sea shanty singalongs at the end.