Libertarian Public House
Libertarian Public House, formerly Black Irish Whiskey Bar & Oyster Saloon, is a working man's canteen situated at the corner of Queen and Sherbourne.
Partners Joey McGuirk, Kevin Wailoo, George Skopelanos, and chef Danvil Daley (formerly of Triple A ) clearly dig the tough neighbourhood vibe - the bar channels the notorious Five Points of 1800s New York for inspiration.
The address was most recently a Popeye's; before that, a Coffee Time. In its current incarnation, the comfortably rough-hewn 80-seat room consists of retro booths recast from the set of Bomb Girls , a skeletal upright piano and neon sIgns over a well-stocked bar.
The menu covers the types of dishes you'd expect of any pub - wings, nachos, quesadillas and curries - though you'll also find a serious selection of seafood. Lobster finds its way onto poutine ($15), nachos ($20) and housemade potato gnocchi ($24) that are pan-fried, then baked to puff up, before being tossed with fresh peas and roasted red peppers in a luscious brandy cream sauce.
Seafood starters include clam chowder ($8), shrimp cocktails ($12), steamed mussels ($12), and cajun grilled calamari ($12), while oysters from Rodney's sit in a bathtub of ice in easy reach behind the bar.
From 2pm to 7pm daily (except Saturdays) half shells are priced at $1.25, twenty-five cents of which are donated to Fuck Cancer, a charitable promo aptly dubbed "shuck & fuck".
The drinks list is illustrated and features straight-up classics; Tom Collins ($6.50), Singapore Sling ($7.50), and Old Fashioned ($7.50) cocktails. On draught there are 15 beers - mainly national brands, plus some more interesting taps like Steigl ($7) and the 8.5% Delirium ($7.50).
The kitchen is open daily from noon until midnight - except on Sundays, when the brunch menu (which features a lobster benny, BTW) starts at 11am.