Village Idiot Pub (website)
126 McCaul Street, Toronto ON M5T 1W2 (on the northwest corner of Dundas Street West and McCaul Street side, the nearest major intersection is Dundas Street West and University Avenue) 416-597-1175
Mecca for the students of OCAD and for those who can’t find Sin & Redemption just to the north.
When I began this blog way back in January 2011, family and friends asked me if I was going to write negative reviews. I said that I would, but that I would try to stay away from places where I already knew the pub was not worth my time — or yours. One of these places was the Village Idiot. A few years ago I went there to have a pint while my better half went shopping nearby. I expected him to be gone about 20 minutes, enough time to order us both pints and get settled into a relaxing afternoon. I sat down and waited, and waited, and waited to be served. I eventually got up to leave. It was only then as I was gathering my belongings that the waitress finally spoke to me. I can’t remember what I said, but as I am not racked with guilt over it, I presume it wasn’t rude. I left and stood outside in the pouring rain waiting for my husband rather than sit in the Village Idiot a moment longer.
Fast forward to January 2012, I decided to give the Village Idiot one more try as I would like to be charitable and the pub was not an utter failure every time I had been there. When I entered, I was a little late, so when one of the staff came up to me, I said I was looking to see if my companion was already there. The fellow just walked away without waiting to see if I needed to be seated to wait for my companion. However, a minute later someone else came and asked if I would like a table and things went smoother from there.
The Village Idiot is very cramped, very noisy, and very dark at night. The walls are burgundy with gilded mouldings and a stuffed deer’s head looms over the bar. During the day, the pub is fairly well-lit by the garage door windows that are opened during the summer. Close to OCAD and to the AGO, this pub will do little to add to your recent cultural experiences.
Number of visits by yours truly: my fourth or fifth visit, most recently on a Friday night in early January 2012
TTC information: a five-minute walk west of St. Patrick. No point in waiting for a streetcar unless you are running early or want to be late
Booze selection: 37 beers, including Leffe Brune (his lordship’s favourite) and Blackthorn cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: my tongue was burned by the hot Cornish pasty and it was tender for several days. Their menu is online
Service staff: can be good, but can be terrible
Prices: student prices
Toilets: two stalls and a little cramped
Patio: no, but it does have glass garage doors that open in good weather
Wheelchair accessible: no, too crowded and there’s a step at the front
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: couldn’t hear as it was so loud
Rating: three pints (out of five)