Flying Beaver

Toronto patio season preview: The Flying Beaver

Consider yourself forgiven if you've never come across the term "pubaret" before. It doesn't take too much guesswork to figure out the concept though; as the name suggests, it's a combination of "pub" and "cabaret."

The term was born when Heather Mackenzie and Maggie Cassella decided to go into business together to create The Flying Beaver, a rough-around-the-edges Cabbagetown bar that is perhaps the worlds first "pubaret." That's not to suggest the world has never seen a cabaret in a bar before, but The Flying Beaver is a unique space nonetheless. The place is essentially two rooms that can operate simultaneously and independently from each other or, as a whole. Anyway, it's an interesting concept that seems to be working so far. The place is already booking sold out shows, karaoke, and lots of dancing, but what of the patio you ask?

The Flying Beaver

Who goes there?
With their doors only open a few short months, they're already attracting a core of faithful regulars, which is a good sign for a young pub. The establishment caters to the local queer community, but by no means exclusively. The Flying Beaver's clientele is as diverse as its Cabbagetown home and the staff are super friendly.

Grub and Libations
Despite its rough around the edges aesthetic, the Flying Beaver knows branding. On the menu you'll find Flying Beaver Light and Flying Beaver Red on Draught ($6), Flying Beaver red or white wine ($8) or a Flying Beaver Martini consisting of Vodka, Kahlua and chocolate milk ($8).

And for those feeling a little peckish, consider a plate of "Freshly gnawed beaver sticks" (shoestring fries served with ketchup and lemon garlic mayo, $4.99), or maybe a "Magic Beaver Noodle Bowl" a collection of fresh veggies and shirataki noodles tossed in a miso soya ginger sauce ($14.95).

Oh and Thursday night is wing night, only $5.00 for a pound.

Odds of scoring (a seat)
You'd be hard pressed to fit more than 20 people on this tiny little west-facing plot. So if you're there for one of their sold out shows, I wouldn't hold my breath. But if you're just looking for some evening sun, you might be in luck. The place is only open Thursday - Sunday though, a shame for those looking to whet their whistle a little earlier in the week (guilty).

A view to a ...
Unless wooden fencing is your thing, there isn't much to look at on this patio. Just a handful of tables and a few potted plants, but the isolation is nice--and it's really sunny.

SPF recommended
Bring suncreen, a hat and a pair of sunglasses because this westerly facing patio has no coverings. Perhaps this patio's best feature is the amount of light it gets. Maybe it's just because we've been so sun starved lately, but sitting out here with the sun blazing made me a little giddy.

Overall impressions
As I said before, while a "pubaret" might not be entirely new, the concept here is pretty cool. The place is warm and welcoming and feels like an establishment much older than it is. What the patio lacks in size and style it more than makes up for in atmosphere. Besides, anywhere I can sit outside with a pint of ice cold Rolling Rock is an automatic winner.

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Previously in the series:

A special thanks to Rickard's White for sponsoring our patio adventures.


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