The Duke of Richmond Pub (website, Twitter)
20 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M5H 3R3 (on the east side, just west of Yonge Street, with the main entrance one block over on James Street) 416-340-7887
Great for watching local politicians or getting a bite to eat before a play.
I love going to plays, ballet productions, and the opera, so I have been to the Duke of Richmond a number of times over the years as it has a great location. It’s near the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre), and Massey Hall, as well as the Eaton Centre and City Hall. One evening, while on my way to see South Pacific, I saw then mayor David Miller at a nearby table.
This pub, like many in the downtown core, can get crowded and the Duke of Richmond is no exception. Like many of the other Duke pubs, service can be hit and miss. A few months ago, I e-mailed to make a reservation using their internet reservation system and no one got back to me. However, another time I called as my husband had lost a treasured fountain pen, and we thought it might be at the Duke of Richmond. That time the person who answered the phone was very helpful, and, yes, we eventually did found the pen at home.
This is one of the nicer pubs in terms of décor, which is standard Duke pub style. If you are a large group you might have problems finding seating even at the quietest of times as so many of the seating arrangements are booths. However, two of the last times I was there, there were large groups at the back, so the pub might be able to accommodate your needs, if you happen to get someone helpful on the telephone.
Number of visits by yours truly: a dozen or so, most recently on a Saturday afternoon in February
TTC information: Queen Station, take the south exit to Queen Street West, then follow the sidewalk west around the corner to James Street
Booze selection: standard Duke pub selection of approximately 30 beers, including Strongbow and Bulmers ciders. Yes, they have Pimm’s!
Food selection: standard pub grub
Service staff: pleasant, but you can wait for service sometimes, which is annoying if you have a play starting shortly
Prices: expensive like all Duke pubs, but we’re talking tourist/politician/shopping central
Toilets: rather fancy
Patio: on the street facing west, with a lovely view of Old City Hall, however, that building blocks most of the sun in the afternoon
Wheelchair accessible: yes and no, it seems to be wheelchair accessible through the office building that the pub is attached to, but the office building was closed when I was there on a weekend and we couldn’t exit through it, even though the entrance from the pub to the office building was unlocked. I’d call ahead
Televisions: yes, three were visible from where I was sitting
Live music: no
Piped-in music: standard ’80s.
Rating: four pints (out of five)