Scout's Honour is like going to summer camp. The smell of fresh pine, stories around the campfire, prepubescent awkwardness...Ok, so there's no fire pit (thanks a lot fire safety laws) and prepubescent awkwardness is now adult awkwardness, but otherwise this new Toronto bar, with it kitschy summer camp-theme, could make the perfect backdrop for a Moonrise Kingdom love story.
My companion and I were walking down Dundas West last Saturday to check it out, but we ended up walking right passed it the first time. Still up and coming, the bar has no sign. No logo. Just an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper stuck to the window that reads Scout's Honour, Thursday - Sunday, 8pm- 2am in black sharpie.
In fact, the only indication that the bar was open was the wide open door and a warm glow emanating from the very back that promised an intimate, friendly atmosphere, much like a campfire.
When I walked in, I was instantly greeted by that crack-like coniferous smell and a row of picnic tables lined up against the wall (these two things might be related). Fake foliage hung from the ceiling and a DJ mixed tunes in the back under a tent.
The wall displayed an artistic map of the entire "camp," with details like "Out House" "Picnic Grove" and "Mess Hall", which accurately laid out the geography of the bar. The artistic style was charming and so was the fact that they mapped out a space that only fits about 30 people.
Behind the bar a chalkboard offered three cocktails The Stormcloud (Tromba tequila, Sloe gin, jalapeno, lime, cucumber), Poison Ivy (Jameson, basil, St. Germain, lime.) and Ogopogo (Kraken rum, lemon, egg white, angostura). I ordered the Poison Ivy but the bar was out of St. Germain (What can you do? Supplies are limited in the wilderness). So my companion and I took on the other two drinks ($8 each). The Ogopogo was super tasty, and there's a promise for more cocktail concoctions to come in the future.
Now, here's the deal. This used to be Mr. Pong's Bar . In fact, it's the same owners and same staff. (Also the folks who brought you Kensington Market's Cold Tea .) It was their plan all along to change up this Dundas West nook every six months.
This knowledge might be disheartening to anyone who made Mr. Pong's Bar their favourite watering hole, but I think it's a romantic notion that the space is continuously reinvented. As long as the bar follows basic survival techniques: keep it chill, intimate and boozy, there are no hard feelings. Although I do miss the blood-thirsty machete-wielding panda.
Writing by Steph Braun