The Cloak and Dagger

The Cloak and Dagger (Twitter)
394 College Street, Toronto ON M5T 1S7 (on the north side, between Croft Street and Borden Street, the nearest major intersection is Bathurst Street and College Street) 416-921-8308
Google Maps 

This pub is brought to you by Guinness.

It’s frustrating going to a pub with lots of cash on you that’s begging to be spent on booze, taxes, and tips, sitting down and wondering why nothing is happening. The Cloak and Dagger Pub doesn’t have table service and it took another customer walking all the way from the other end of the bar to our table to tell us. I know that a number of Toronto pubs follow the Irish model of bar service which is all fine and dandy, I rather like it myself, but it can be confusing if you don’t know what’s going on. A little sign on the table saying “Please come to the bar as there is no table service” might go a long, long way to easing future returning customers into the pub’s customs instead of alienating one-time potential customers.

The Cloak and Dagger, just to the north of Kensington Market, is very dark and loud, and filled with well-meaning hipsters, who are likely regulars. The pub has a piano, bar stools, and lots of booths that seat six or fewer, if you are a party of eight, don’t bother to sit inside. The brick walls are covered with beer advertising. This pub was chosen as one of Toronto’s top pubs in NOW and once again, I disagree with them. I’m also docking pints in the rating for the pub serving “Irish Car Bombs.”

Number of visits by yours truly: my first on a Saturday evening in February 2012
TTC information: a six-minute ride south from Bathurst Station, and then a two-minute walk east, or take the College Streetcar from Queen’s Park Station, which will drop you after a seven-minute ride at College and Borden
Booze selection: I counted 23 on tap, including Leffe Brune and Strongbow cider, apparently they have a number of bottled beers too (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: currently they only serve food Tuesday to Friday, five to ten, and Sundays, two to eight, so as we were there on a Saturday, I have no idea what the food is like
Service staff: see above. However, the bartender apparently recommended certain drinks to the lads as they did the drink ordering at the bar
Prices: affordable as you don’t have to tip (if you are going to follow the custom of no table service, you shouldn’t have to tip either)
Toilets: not very nice
Patio: apparently there is a patio at the back, but it was a cold evening and I think it might have been closed
Wheelchair accessible: nope
Televisions: one
Live music: seven nights a week
Piped-in music: hillbilly, Velvet Underground

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

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