The Dog’s Bollocks

The Dog’s Bollocks (website)
817 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M6J 1G1 (on the south side, between Niagara Street and Tecumseth Street, the nearest major intersection is Queen Street West and Bathurst Street) 647-350-6496
Google Maps 

The embodiment of Old Queen Street West.

I’ve walked by the Dog’s Bollocks dozens of times, but never gone in. It’s on a part of Queen Street West where I don’t feel like a (then) 41-year-old fraud. On this stretch of pavement, near Trinity Bellwoods Park, are some wonderful spots, the Paper Place, Type Books, SankoChippy’s, and Oyster Boy. The last two places were closed the Saturday afternoon in question and I was starving and thirsty, so we went to the Dog’s Bollocks for some liquid restoration.

The phrase “the dog’s bollocks” means great or wonderful, however, it might be an inside joke, as the Dog’s Bollocks pub is anything but. It’s worn and in serious danger of becoming a dive — our booth, which was at the back and near the bar, had been tagged — and the toilets [[[shudder]]], please see below. The Dog’s Bollocks has a pool table, seating of all types including some couches, and several long tables with seating for eight. Pictures of Sid Vicious and Elizabeth I as Gloriana herself — the only touch of class — hang on the walls. The crowd was a mixture of pretty little things with a few older regulars at the bar. I expect the novelty of going to a pub called the dog’s bollocks is the reason why the pub has lasted as long as it has.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first and probably my last, on a Saturday afternoon in February 2012
TTC information: a 12-minute streetcar ride southbound from Bathurst Station, then a six-minute walk west, or take the Queen Street streetcar west from Osgoode Station, which will drop you after a 15-minute ride at Claremont Street
Booze selection: 24 beers including Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: grilled calves liver and samosas — the latter served with tomato ketchup
Service staff: very polite
Prices: cheap, $3.99 for shoots
Toilets: the ladies was icky. There’s construction going on in the room next door and the walls are a little damaged, so you can look into the destroyed room, which means whoever is in the other room can look into the ladies, not, however, into the actual stalls. The men’s was apparently terrifying, it’s upstairs along a dark dented and bashed corridor. My beloved actually looked a little shaken afterwards
Patio: nope, but the windows at the front are open in the summer
Wheelchair accessible: no, steps at front and both toilets involve stairs
Televisions: ten regular size and two big screens showing ruby and English football
Live music: DJ on the weekend
Piped-in music: light rock, new country, The Smiths

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

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