Handlebar has a motif that's obvious. In a city where the bi-wheeled are often maligned and fodder for near civil warfare, this Kensington Market bar is a haven.
There are bronzed bikes anchored on the wall, and for those who wear their cyclists' hearts on their sleeves, this place is almost cartoonishly perfect.
The space is long and narrow. In a room at the back, you'll find a stage that's small enough to be more appropriate for comedic stand-up than music. The seating area is split into small tables, and there's a roomy patio littered with season-appropriate poolside chairs.
Handlebar is not a space for those with fancy tastes. Beers ($6.25) and whiskies ($6.50 for a Maker's) are the focus here, which is not necessarily bad for the weary palate.
Their bar menu is similarly unpretentious, serving homey favourites such as spaghetti and meatballs or tacos. The dishes vary daily, but hover around $6.
There are places that go out of their way to push you out of your comfort zone, but that's not the case here. At Handlebar intimacy is not only possible, but seems to be encouraged.
Its Kensington location also proves to be an advantage; it not only works with all the other bars in the area, but answers to what they're missing.
Just another day in the GTA with some cool bands at the handlebar. Come boogie to the sounds of
James Wyatt Crosby- (Toronto indie rock troubadour)
WindfallFound-(St.catherines Space rock exchange students)
Teenage Green Bean-(Toronto/Hamilton Shoegaze kids)
10PM / 19+
No Cover / Donate What You Can
Spinning anything broadly defined as 'punk' all night, from Against Me! and Green Day, to Black Flag and Bikini Kill, to The Strokes and Blondie
10% of drink sales and all funds in the donation box goes directly to Assaulted Women's Helpline
Strange Shakes (St. Catharines) They love sneakers
OHMNO (still haven't finished their album) TORONTO Drone Poppers (120 likes on facebook though!)
Secret Wars (A band)
Occasionally melodic anti-pop. Key notes redacted.
PEDESTRIAN SUNDAYS IN KE...
A S T R A L P R O J E C T I O N S - VOL. IX
A monthly out-of-body experience at Handlebar, blending mind-expanding audio/visual delights from local electronic bands and DJs.
Our June edition focuses on Toronto's riveting underground techno/electro/wave scene.
IAMMONTYCANTSIN: Iammontycantsin is a Toronto based claptrap noise / electro-riot / loopmachine band, their music ...
Come join us for some killer Synthwave to kick off your summer.
Parallels DJ Set (Toronto Synthpop/Synthwave)
Dana Jean Phoenix (Toronto Synthpop)
Mecha Maiko (Toronto Synthpop/Synthwave)
Mellow Fields (Toronto Synthwave/Cyberpunk)
Slip Slop Slap is a monthly series at Handlebar featuring artists stepping outside of their comfort zones and experimenting with new forms and showcasing new material. This month:
10p Cherry Blaster (cherryblaster.bandcamp.com)
9p Anna Atkinson (annaatkinson.bandcamp.com)
8p KASHKA (solo) (kashka.bandcamp.com)
Music starts promptly at 8p and night ends by 11p.
Cover is $6-10 slid...
A stacked bill of meaningful electronic pop music.