The Beaver is much more than just a cafe, brunch spot, or bar. It’s a community hub where locals regularly gather for themed karaoke, drag nights and a general vibe of acceptance.
It’s an eccentric little place marked scantily by a “B” made out of light bulbs above the door. Quirkily, they have open WiFi but no debit machine, and the minimum charge for credit $25. There’s an ATM at the back near washrooms that are genderless but up a small flight of steps.
The space itself is long and narrow with a ledge facing the window, the bar on one side and tables on the other, a DJ booth and small dance floor/performance area also up the few steps.
The walls are teeming with artwork, local graffiti and posters covering every inch of the bathrooms.
There’s also a sizeable patio out back outfitted with picnic tables and strung with lights, and there are sometimes pop-up barbecues and other events in this outdoor area.
A trio of tacos ($9) makes up a very casual late night menu on the night of my visit, though I’ve definitely enjoyed many an eggy brunch here in mornings past.
A veggie chili, beef and chorizo taco are all served on warm corn tortillas, and would surely do in a pinch if one over-imbibed and needed something to soak up excess alcohol.
All tacos are topped with shredded iceberg and pico de gallo, the beef and chorizo with a jalapeno sour cream and white cheddar and goat cheese respectively. The veg chili comes with a vegan garlic mayo instead of the sour cream.
The Earl Gay ($11) is one of many fun, lower-priced, no-frills cocktails served at the Beaver.
It’s a simple combination of Bombay Sapphire, Earl Grey tea syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice garnished with a chunky cucumber wheel.
The Rosebud ($9.50) is also based on Bombay accented by Campari, grapefruit bitters and grapefruit juice with a flirty sugar rim and lime wedge garnish.
The theme of the drag show the night I visit is James Bond and it’s embraced creatively, few interpretations literal, one queen wearing glittery Nintendo controllers strapped to her chest in a nod to Golden Eye.
If you’re the type that likes to get dressed up in costume on a weekday night for no special occasion in particular, this is the bar for you.
Events start late and end late here, making this a spot favoured by night owls and industry folks in the area alike.