The Aviary Brewpub
With a 130-seat wraparound patio, menu of tried-and-true sports bar faves sure to please Dock Ellis fans, and games throughout the bar, The Aviary stands positioned to be a neighbourhood hub.
Seating inside consists of some low tables but mostly bar seating, with USB outlets under the counters. A scoreboard serves as a draught menu.
Cracker Jacques ($6) are a house imitation of the classic (you know, the one from the song), simple popcorn and peanuts doused in caramel served (of course) with a baseball card and trinket.
Tater tots are $7, plus $2 for cheese sauce made with Longslice’s Loose Lips Lager, an extra $5 for meat or vegan chili.
The chili is made with equal parts Longslice Dunkel and Loose Lips, the meat version with P.E.I. beefs. It doesn’t verge too far from the traditional, and the cheese sauce is nostalgically-neon and plasticky while still creamy and velvety, made simply with milk, cream, cheddar, beer and corn starch.
Pastrami Dry Spice Wings ($12 for six) are part of a list of pickle-brined Ontario chicken wings, the other options being Jerk, General Tao, and Fermented Hot Sauce.
Pastrami indicates the juicy wings are seasoned with a hot and tangy traditional combination of peppercorn, coriander, mustard seed, sugar and salt like pastrami would be. Crudites and house dip are $2.50 extra.
Fried Brussel Sprouts ($9) are soaked in a sweet and sticky General Tao sauce and dressed with sesame seeds so they’re crunchy, syrupy and addicting.
The Canary Smash Burger ($14) house grinds P.E.I. blade for a relatively thick patty on a smushy Martin’s potato roll with iconic fixin’s of an oversized lettuce leaf, tomato and onion.
Popsicles ($2.50) in rotating flavours might be made with, say, a super fruity seasonal Ontario strawberry puree.
All Longslice draught is $7.08 for 16 ounce pours, the Aloha Friday an easy-drinking 4.8% Hibiscus Pale Ale that’s great for warm days, the sweet floral notes of hibiscus present but subtle.
Retro music pumps over the sound system, harmonizing with the clacking of billiard balls at the one pool table.
The beeps of a retro NBA arcade game sound a counterpoint.
Longslice co-founder and brewmaster John Peat brews Longslice favourites like Hopsta La Vista onsite, and there are usually about half a dozen draught options including a guest tap and a cider.
The kitchen is headed up by Josh Charbonneau, previously of Schmaltz Appetizing.