My wife (the back end of the elephant) and myself (I like to think of myself as the brains of the operation, probably not though) went out last night for a drink. We went to a bar in St. Thomas. It was a bar that if found in Boston, New York City, Buffalo or possibly Toronto would be THE hangout for cool people of all ages. The place to be seen even.
It isn’t the biggest bar in the world, but it’s friendly, beautiful to look at, and it feels like a real bar, rather than a restaurant that happens to sell beer. Having grown up in the UK, I felt at home here. It feels like the bars I drank at back home, the sometimes crowded, always atmospheric bars that you enjoy drinking at because you are there, rather than it is a meat market or there is a sporting event on the television.
We got talking to the owners, Mike & Pete, two of St. Thomas‘s own who ended up elsewhere in Ontario, made good, and decided that they loved the bar so much they bought it. Now I have liked some bars in my time, bars where the staff knew what I was drinking as soon as I walked in and often had a bottle open for me on the bar before I got there. I never loved a bar THAT much that I wanted to buy it. These gentlemen obviously did.
I mentioned how much I liked their bar and we talked about how the bar had originally been a hotel and had been one of the first places in Ontario to get its liquor license. I am easily impressed but this is pretty cool in anyone’s eyes. Then things got even more interesting as I discovered that they have a back room at the bar that is free to rent for any event you can think of. Seriously, free? No having to look around for a place, then get a license to serve, then find Smart Serve qualified folk who would rather serve than drink, all the while having to pay for each and every thing. Free! You can bring your own music, food, entertainment, anything at all. I thought at first they were pulling my leg, I mean, free? My leg was not being pulled, it really is free to rent.
I am now racking my brain to think of an event or two that I, erm I mean my wife and I, can host because if it’s free to use, it would be INCONCEIVABLE not to take advantage of it! Now I am sure that this bar is not for everyone. When you look around St. Thomas, there are not any other bars similar to this one that look as good as this. I can’t decide if this is St. Thomas‘s best kept secret, or if people have never really experienced a proper bar rather than a place that has a million television screens, and food and other distractions rather than a bar where you can actually enjoy your friends company. If I am going to go out with friends, I want to spend time with them, not have to compete for attention with Sportscenter, wings and loud music. This is what a bar should be, a place to enjoy for the people, not for the distractions.
I almost forgot, the bar I am talking about is the Midtown Tavern. We all know where it is but unless you have been inside recently, you can’t possibly know how good it is. I heartily recommend that the next time you want to go for a drink with friends, you try it. And if you have to organize a special event, give them a call, you won’t do much better than free. If you do, mention that you re-discovered the bar on the blog!
For more details, please do visit http://www.midtowntavern.ca/ they even have a cool website!