The Wheatsheaf Tavern
The Wheatsheaf Tavern is Toronto's oldest bar, located at the same corner since 1849.
Following a brief hiatus for renovations, a 2020 reopening saw the space made over into an updated sports bar and live music venue.
Original hammered tin ceilings, exposed brick, a new permanent stage and booths that are meant to be sat on top of and maybe even danced on have all been incorporated into the revamped look by Solid Design Creative.
Spinach and garlic dip ($15) is fluffy and packed with spinach, with a crispy molten top, great for piercing with provided tortilla chips.
Chicken wings are available in orders of six, 12 or 18 for $16, $32 or $48 in Hot Honey, Medium, Buffalo, 4 Alarm or a crispy and bold BBQ Dry Rub style. Like the tavern itself, they've long been beloved but got some tweaks for the reopening, apparently now made with turkey stock.
A chicken souvlaki plate rings in at $21, but it does come with two chicken skewers as well as pita, Greek salad, fries and tzatziki.
A fried chicken sandwich ($16) stars, part of a list of handhelds served with salad or fries. A crunchy piece of fried chicken is done justice doused in hot honey and served on a squishy bun with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.
A collection of eight classic cocktails like Long Island Iced Teas and Black Russians are available either "old school," by the book as you expect them to be, or "new school" with added twists.
A new school version of a Pornstar Martini goes for $13, and though the name feels a tad outdated, the frothy combination of vanilla vodka, mango, prosecco, lime, and egg white is crushable and just boozy enough.
The first three ingredients in both an old school and new school Mai Tai ($14) are rum, rum, and rum, the new school version adding passionfruit, lime, orgeat, Peychauds and an absinthe spritz.
A new school Bourbon Smash ($14) adds the sweetness of peach to a boozy combination of bourbon, lemon and mint.
There's also a wide range of retro-style shooters, draft beer and a curated selection of whisky.
Shawn Creamer (Dakota Tavern) is behind regularly scheduled programming from established and emerging artists including live music all weekend long, with three sets from bands every Friday and Saturday.