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.
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 Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives (CLGA) (clga.ca)
2012. It was a simpler time. 45 was merely an ex-reality TV star. Instagram barely had a cultural footprint. Our chief existential concern was whether the Mayan calendar's prediction would come true and the world would end...so I guess it wasn't all roses....but at least the music was fire.
In fact, it was super fire. Danny Brown dropped XXX. ASAP Rocky's LiveLoveASAP was fresh. Nicki Minaj'...
Slip, Slop, Slap: Experiment! is a summer series happening the third Sunday of the month from April-August at Handlebar.
SSS invites local acts, established and emerging, to perform new material, experiment, and take bold steps with their repertoire.
Music starts promptly at 8p and night ends by 11p.
Cover is $6-10 sliding scale.
Handlebar is excited to present Digits and Most People, two of the city's finer pop acts, along with a couple of intriguing new projects from familiar faces. Bleeps and bloops forever!
Melancholy electronic pop for introverts who dance
// Most People
Toronto electro-power-pop titans gone tender + yachty
♀ WIMMIN ♀, a queer rock and roll dance party, finally rides again... this time with a LIVE KARAOKE SET, and followed by our usual DJ dance party! Free!
For live karaoke, come prepared to sing some of your favourites by Hole, Garbage, Bikini Kill, 4 Non Blondes and many more: stay tuned closer to the date for a full song list, schedule, and details on how to sign up.
Stay on for the dance...
Funké (fun silly hip-hop/rap) (a short lil set!)
Dumb Stupid Liars (synthpop)
Tea Room (twee pop)
Roach (rock n rollll)
Doors 9pm // $8 cover - fundraiser for Molar Horrors
• Molar Horrors is a 5-episode dramatic web series rev...
PAUL DE JONG (https://pauldejong.bandcamp.com)
Cellist and collage pop musician Paul de Jong (of the Books) hits the road in support of his newest solo outing "You Fucken Sucker". Pushing further into the franticly rhythmic work he brought to The Books, his solo work dips more into the avant-garde. Collaged voices murmur under squeaking noise electronics & string swells. Balancing out causti...