Dumbo Snack Bar

Toronto's newest bar will check your phone at the door

You can get loose without the fear of losing, smashing, or dunking your phone this spring at Parkdale's newly-announced Dumbo Snack Bar.

Set to open this March in the space formerly occupied by  Raca at 1704 Queen St. W, the late-night spot from Toronto hospitality industry veteran Nick Peach will feature a variety of small plates inspired by his recent, three-month-long sabbatical in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. 

Think pinchos, tapas, Porto-style sandwiches and Moroccan meat options, as well as shareable, $20 "teapot" cocktails that come with teacups and little snacks on the side (!)

"The idea is to create for Parkdale a sort of mashup of local and independent food ideas, brands and products," said Peach, noting that most kitchens in the area tend to close by 10 or 11 p.m.

"We're going to be here for Parkdale locals," he said. "We'll be open Tuesday to Saturday from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m... and if we're open, the kitchen is open."

One thing that promises to set Dumbo Snack Bar apart (aside from its kitchen hours) is a novel cellphone charging service behind the bar – kind of like a coat check for phones. 

"You come in, you get something like a coat check ticket, and your phone is plugged in" said Peach. "It' not a big place, so you can see it the entire time."

This is an optional service – not a mandatory policy – but the concept could prove quite popular as phone fatigue takes hold across the continent (and people seek new ways to avoid embarrassing themselves online while drunk).

"The idea is to take us back to actually talking to each other and engaging and being present," said Peach of the phone checking service.

"Some of the best events I've thrown over the past ten years are those where phones are checked, or not allowed," he explained. "It leads to cooler, more memorable experiences."

Peach's BareBones Bartending will be hosting workshops on the restaurant's "beautiful summer patio beginning whenever this terrifying frozen apocalypse comes to an end," according to the company's Instagram account.

The bar's "theoretical opening" is currently listed as March 1, though March 7 is listed one line down as a "more likely" opening date.

Lead photo by

Dumbo Snack Bar

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