DW Alexander is a new cocktail lounge located near Church and Front where the Foundation Room used to be. With highbrow drinks and highly delicious bar snacks, DW Alexander bills itself as a premium bar.
I visited DW Alexander on their opening night. Outside, the place has an understated sign before you walk down a few stairs to get to the dark, crowded bar, giving the feeling of being at a secret tavern during Prohibition or a pirated DVD sale extravaganza in present day. Opposite the bar is some standing/dancing room with a DJ booth for everyone's colleagues who think they know the Single Ladies dance after one martini.
On the other side is a sitting area surrounded by bookshelves. Underneath the stairs, there is a tiny glassed-in room with an ox head sculpture on the floor and shelves of liquor on display. It's unclear from first glance what purpose the room serves. It could simply be a method of displaying booze to patrons, but the door seems too small to get in and have a good look.
It could just be storage space, but something about having an ox sculpture in the middle of the floor seems inconsistent with storage. It could possibly be a private room for Mel Lastman to come and drink Disarrono while other patrons watch and regret calling him the worst mayor ever, but Lastman doesn't seem like the amaretto type.
As I stood among people who were having legitimate human interactions and thought about Mel Lastman, a server came by. She mentioned that DW Alexander is named after the historical figure, a leather trader in the late 19th century. I asked if they were planning to honour the other, equally important DW Alexander with a themed drink ( "Maybe a Shiny Redneck Cosmopolitan ???" ) and winked.
Aaaand back to my thoughts about the possibility of a reality competition involving former mayors doing standup comedy (working title: Lastman Standing ).
I decided to dull my ruminations with one of the drinks the servers were offering. I chose the Sloe Gin Fizz ($14), a mix of gin and citrus. It was refreshing and not overly sweet. Toronto's Annie Leibovitz , Jesse Milns , had the Manhattan (also $14) which he proclaimed to be "strong" and "good." With the drinks came bacon popcorn, free with any beverage.
Usually free popcorn conjures up images of Jumbo Video (and with those images come the cold sweat of realization that a VHS copy of Return to Oz is still on the floor of the backseat of my parents' Saturn) but this popcorn was fantastic - warm, smoky, with discernible bacon pieces. DW Alexander also serves other small snacks, ranging from $5-15.
The combination of a cool atmosphere, delicious drinks and free bacon popcorn makes DW Alexander a great choice for after-work drinks, before night-shift drinks and I-didn't-go-to-work-today-but-I'm-still-going-to-drink drinks. Be sure to wander by the ox sculpture room, but be warned: reality shows featuring outdated local politicians are my territory.