Weldon Park is the newest bar to spring up on College Street. Just like the name suggests, it has a park theme, but unlike any park I've been to before, it's overflowing with bodacious cocktails. That's right, I said bodacious.
I swung by last Friday with my partner in crime. As we walked inside the narrow space, tables decorated with flowers and candles greeted us with bowls of trail mix, nuts, and candies. (And not just any kind of candy. I'm talking Sweetish Berry calibre.) Behind the bar was a wholesome shelf stocked with jams, preserves, and the only man I've ever seen who could pull off a moustache. All these quaint details were juxtaposed against every type of liquor you could possibly desire and a DJ spinning rap music.
Tyler Newsome and Michael Crispo are the bartending boy wonders behind Weldon Park. They divided the space into two lounge areas, separated by an intimate dance floor, that they promise will feature up and coming artists on the turn tables.
At the front, trendy cocktails are quickly mixed together for $9-$12. We tried their Harvey Wallbanger first. It's made with clarified orange juice and tastes just like a Creamsicle. It was so delicious my panties evaporated.
Up next was the Banana Daiquiri, light and tropical, followed by an "Unconventional Screwdriver" made with enough rye to put hair on my chest. There are other classic favourites on the menu too, all reinvented with a modem twist, like the Brandy Alexander, Stinger, and White Russian.
Looking to do shots? They even make their own chasers, often using fresh Ontario ingredients, of course.
The second bar is past the dance floor. It's a rustic and sexy den, with a wrought iron chandelier, tables made from old casks, and a looming wall of liquor. On this end, all the rails are premium, they play with liquid nitrate, and the prices jump up to $13-$15. Expect to wait a little longer here too, because cocktail magic doesn't just happen.
There was no food was on the menu during my visit. But I was told to expect sandwich boards, street meat, and something called tomato jam (fancy ketchup?). There are also plans in the works to team up with popular food joints like Rock Lobster and The Drake in the near future (as if the scene wasn't delicious enough.)
Overall, every time one of the bartenders poured a cocktail, I could see how enthusiastic they were about the little masterpiece they were creating. And that kind of passionate vibe brings about an atmosphere that's more intoxicating than the Sonavavitch Vodka they keep in the back.