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.
THE AMBiENT PiNG presents Bonecreak Ulysses / The Body In Question + Stuart Clark + General Chaos Visuals
.. Bonecreak Ulysses is the solo project of Charles Hackbarth, a Toronto based artist, writer and musician. Inspired by Nurse With Wound, Zoviet France, Tod Dockstader, Rapoon, Dead Voices on Air, Bonecreak Ulysses was born in Hackbarth's basement studio as a way to explore the expressiv...
No cover! Here's how it works:
⏩ Every hour is a new decade of music from the 70s until today.
⏩ Every hour is a new DJ.
⏩ The top of every hour is a confetti-fuelled countdown into the next decade.
It's kinda of like 5 new years' parties in one. Except it's not new years. And we're dancing for five hours long.
No cover. Music starts at 9PM.
CRAPNATION NUMBER 14!!!!! At HANDLEBAR! In Kensington Market! Crapnation #14! 'Zines hot off the press and included with admission while quantities last! Door at 9pm! Great bands! Party starts right away! Come celebrate! Prizes and surprises!
Special performances by:
High Heels Lo Fi
It was one of Jean Claude Van Damme's first starring roles, and he's basically the only sort of good thing about this movie, despite Forest Whitaker being in it as well for some reason. It's based on a true story... from Toronto-born grifter Frank Dux, who has lied about every single event in his life somehow! And it's about a secret underground deadly fight tournament that... sells tickets, an...
In the 3 years since arriving in Toronto from London, UK Hot Breath Karaoke has gone from packing up and going home early to becoming Toronto's wildest karaoke night and turned Handlebar into THE go-to Tuesday night party spot. We wouldn’t have gotten there without you so it's time to express a little gratitude and give a little back.
You make karaoke happen so this is YOUR birthday too, and...
No cover! 100% Rare Soul, Vintage Reggae, and a special 60's R&B set thrown in just for good measure!
Legendary Montreal underground electronic pop duo Chevalier Avant Garde have fired up the resurrection machine, and our ears are overflowing. Featuring performances from brilliant Toronto musical minds Scott Hardware and SlowPitchSound. Opening set from House Sounds and environs by Roxanne Ignatius!
Chevalier Avant Garde
Montreal underground electronic pop legends reemerged after five yea...
Drummer Gladys Lazer, a nomadic Tel Aviv born musician best known for his work with Yonatan Gat, celebrates the release of his new 'Way Imperfect' EP from Boiled Records.
Created during a time of inner conflict, the EP reflects Lazer's realization of the fallibe nature of human life and music alike: 'Way Imperfect' explores the release from suffering of perfectionism and idealism, with a rem...
The lost monthly Astral Projections returns from the ether to bring you a micro-festival of out-of-body experiences, featuring oneiric auditory & hallucinatory visions from the talented minds of Tab Jones, Paulo Sinski Microband, Kees Kees, Smoke & Shadows and Hemingway. This extra special event is packed with talent and vibe and only costs a tenner! The party kicks off early at 9pm and will go...
Tang returns with 'Finding peace, isn't the point', an eclectic and sonically evolved batch of songs found chasing that 90's, fuzz-caked, pogoing dragon while weaving in classic Tang downers that make us weep and brings us to our knees. Joining Tang, is the illustrious Steven Lambke and rising star Holiday Pictures.
What's that jingle jangling in the distance? Is it Santa? Jack Frost? The Winterman? NO! It's your naughty little xmas boys Dinosaur Island!! Bringing a big night of yuletide cheer, and enough fart jokes to fill a stocking, to Santa's Workshop, AKA Handlebar on Saturday December 14th!! HO HO OOOOHHH
Dinosaur Island (Gingerbread Power Pop)