The Beaver

The Beaver

The Beaver Café is the only place to hang out on the West Queen West strip. What? Sound cocky? Kinda, but it’s true. The bar-slash-restaurant, which has one of the area’s most killer patios, is kinda like Cheers – that is, if in addition to knowing your name, the patrons at Cheers happened to be some of T.O.’s most exciting punk rockers, photographers, art fags, performance innovators, bears, butches and beauties.

Since Lynn McNeill and Will Munro took over the space in Toronto’s downtown West end back in 2006, the pair – de facto heroes in the city’s gritty radical queer and rock ‘n’ roll scenes – have transformed the erstwhile inoffensively boho brunch and dinner joint into a local that’s as notorious for its awesome parties as it is for its buck-a-shuck oyster nights and perfect panini sandwiches. A primer: Munro is the mastermind behind T.O.’s late, lamented Vazaleen nights, the non-normative monthly that brought everyone from Nina Hagen to Jayne County to ESG to the Gossip to local stages; McNeill’s made sure that Lee’s Palace has remained the city’s best rock ‘n’ roll club for decades.

Together, they’ve ensured that booze and music lovers with a clue have a reason to visit the Beav every night, booking DJs who know their stuff for a series of unconventional parties, from the ubernelly LISP to the Philly funk and R&B-skewed Tighten Up, from the girl-on-girl action of Sunday’s Bush Party throwdowns to the self-explanatory CHUNK (for bears and those who love them).

Best of all, McNeill and Munro have paid the same attention to the Beaver’s menu as they have to the establishment’s aesthetic qualities. Not only is the food fab, but you get served by some of the prettiest kids in town. If you’re not a regular by now, you’re totally missing out.

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Gay Lesbian Directory

  • 416-537-2768
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  • 1192 Queen St. West
    Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J6

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