Pogue Mahone Irish Pub

Pogue Mahone Irish Pub (website, Twitter)
777 Bay Street Toronto ON M5G 2B3 (the pub is actually on College Street between Yonge and Bay Streets, on the south side) 416-598-3339
Google Maps

Great for an after-work gathering or when you’re in the mood for a little slice of Ireland.

The first time I went to Pogue Mahone (Gaelic for “kiss my arse”) was on a St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago. We were just popping in for a spot of liquid fortification mid-afternoon and they had Leffe Brune, my husband’s favourite! Alas, since then, it’s been hit and miss with that drink, but we always enjoy ourselves there. That time the pub was almost empty even though it was a weekend, but we got the feeling it was going to be hopping later that night. We were there for the 250th anniversary of Guinness in 2009 and it was very very busy.

The entrances to Pogue Mahone are confusing, if you come in off the street, you can basically seat yourself, but if you go in through the connecting office building, there is usually someone at that entrance who will seat you. The pub can get very noisy, hence I recommend you try to get one of the four-seater booths — with lovely stained glass — near the windows as they do work at blocking some of the noise. Better yet is to get one of the two snugs! Oh, it’s like having your own little pub. The evening we spent in the Titanic-themed snug was wonderful, and that wasn’t just because we were with great friends.

Number of visits by yours truly: five or six, most recently on a Friday evening in February 2011
TTC information: College Station, exiting into College Park. You can go through the mall, but going outside onto College and then west is quickest
Booze selection: Lots to choose from, including two ciders (no Pimm’s). They sometimes have Leffe Brune
Food selection: standard pub fare with an Irish twist, the menu had at least two grammatical errors (“it’s” as a possessive and “animal bi-products”)
Service staff: good
Prices: expensive
Toilets: nothing to complain about in terms of cleanliness, but a bit tight
Patio: north of building and wraps around the east side
Wheelchair accessible: yes, however, the toilets are a tight squeeze and I didn’t see a wheelchair-access toilet
Televisions: five, one in each corner and then over the bar
Live music: every Friday
Piped-in music: Irish style

Rating: four and a half pints (out of five) 

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