The Flatiron and Firkin

The Flatiron and Firkin (website, Twitter)
49 Wellington Street East, Toronto ON M5E 1C9 (at the intersection of Wellington Street, Church Street, and Front Street) 416-362-3444
Google Maps

Lovely for a pint before a hockey game or to take the tourist who wants to see a different side of Toronto.

I like the Flatiron and Firkin for a number of reasons; the layout of the pub, the friendly staff, and the good food. Due to the layout a large group will have a tough time finding a good spot. However, if it’s just two of you, you’ll have a number of ideal spots and it’s great for tête-à-têtes as the booths are so private. The seating is very comfortable, but you can have a bit of trouble in getting in and out of certain spots as the seating and tables are fixed. The walls are full of various black-and-white photographs and old prints. The one thing I don’t like about the Flatiron and Firkin — and this is a complaint about the Firkin chain in general — is the number of televisions. Do you really need that many televisions and all showing the same sports show? The Flatiron and Firkin is in a great location, near the Sony Centre, the St. Lawrence Market, and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

What’s a firkin? According to my nearest-at-hand dictionary, it’s a small cask for liquids or dried good, or a unit of alcohol that’s nine imperial gallons or about 41 litres. The Toronto “Flatiron” building predates the famous Flatiron in New York by a decade and the Toronto building is formally known as the Gooderham Building after distiller George Gooderham had it built for his company, Gooderham & Worts.

Number of visits by yours truly: two dozen or so, most recently on a Thursday afternoon in March 2011 (St. Patrick’s Day!)
TTC information: King Station, head east along King to Church, down to Wellington
Booze selection: about a dozen or so, including Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: standard pub grub with lots of sandwiches and wraps. I quite like their bangers and mash
Service staff: pleasant and friendly, the busboys are very attentive
Prices: fairly decent
Toilets: very cramped
Patio: on the street facing south. At the moment, the building to the south is under construction, so you will only be able to enjoy the sun for a few months
Wheelchair accessible: no and the steps at the Church Street entrance are very uneven. I recall at least one friend tripping up the stairs
Televisions: yes, two from where I was sitting and I was facing a wall
Live music: no
Piped-in music: as it was St. Patrick’s Day, it was all Irish, all the time, so Enya and Sinéad O’Connor. On other days, the music is more ‘80s and ‘90s

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

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