The Avro

The Avro is a new bar on Queen St. East in Riverside and upon entry, I couldn't help but feel like I'd taken the Queen streetcar the wrong direction and ended up on Ossington or Dundas West . While it was fun the first time around at places like Sweaty Betty's and Crooked Star , this grab anything from your Grandma's attic, throw together some mish mash of chairs and tables, put vintage-y pictures, vinyl and a sense of irony up on the wall, buy some booze from the LCBO and open a joint aesthetic is really getting tiring at this point (on Ossington and Dundas too) - even with a more aeronautical theme to work around.

I guess an important thing The Avro has going for it is that it is about 5km east of all those other bars and, thankfully, unlike most of them, it sometimes has live music, not just some cheap jukebox or ipod on shuffle.

The above being said, The Avro is a pretty cool, little place (seats 30). It attracts a very local clientele that's growing and while this area isn't known for its plethora of childless couples and is a much more family oriented part of town, that doesn't mean its residents don't know how to party (witness Rasputin, Jilly's, et al). After all, this neighbourhood's singles, couples and child-full couples alike still need a comfortable, relaxed place to drink.

In a way, this makes The Avro a perfect fit in that it allows many of the denizens of Riverside and Leslieville who used to live downtown but moved out here, a way to enjoy their new environs while still feeling connected, urban, and hip.

The drinks list is as basic as they come, with cocktails like Screwdriver's and G&T's going for $5.25, good local Mill Street Organic and Tank House at $6.25 a pint, and shots or most bottles of beer to be had for $5.25 as well.

As for food, they encourage you to bring your own (they'll provide the plate!) or for $3 you can nibble on dill pickles or a slice of birthday cake - which I thought was a really fun idea.

There are various promotions throughout the week as well with Sunday's being a "bring your own vinyl" play off, Monday's having $4 shots, Tuesday's Rock'n Roll night with live music, Wednesday's DJ night, and Thursday's $5.25 pints "if you wear plaid" night. Weekend's are business as usual.

Open 7 days a week from 7pm - 2am, The Avro isn't a destination bar, but if you're in the area and want that final drink after Ruby Watchco in a "cheap and cheerful" atmosphere, then it's the place to do it.

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