The Banknote

The Banknote (website, Twitter)
663 King Street West, Toronto ON M5V 1M5 (on the southeast corner of King Street West and Bathurst Street) 416-947-0404
Google Maps 

The highest compliment that one can give this pub is that it is clean.

Over the years, I have been to the Banknote a number of times with various groups of friends. Back in those early days of innocence, when I was not the self-proclaimed connoisseur of pubs and taverns that I am now, I thought the Banknote was a rather nice pub. However, seeing the Banknote today though the cider goggles of experience, I can say that it lacks personality and charm.

The Banknote, a former bank, has high ceilings and floor tiles, which means it could get very noisy, and booths with bank teller windows and regular tables. The menu looks like someone dropped a bottle of apostrophes over the master and failed to wipe up the excess punctuation marks before printing. Perhaps being across the road from the Wheat Sheaf, which we had visited earlier that same afternoon, I expect the Banknote has tried to offer everything that the Wheat Sheaf does not. Things in the Banknote’s favour: open late, good location, and decent selection of beers. Things not in its favour: poor service, lack of imagination, and unwelcoming. If I had to choose, I would go to the Wheat Sheaf, which says more about the Banknote than it does about the Wheat Sheaf.

Number of visits by yours truly: my fourth or fifth, most recently on a Saturday afternoon in April 2012
TTC information: a seven-minute ride west to Bathurst from St. Andrew Station, or take the Bathurst streetcar south from Bathurst to King, which will take about 12 minutes.
Booze selection: 28 beers, including Strongbow cider, a number of scotches (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: mainly Italian food
Service staff: disinterested and grumpy and this observation is from several visits
Prices: not cheap
Toilets: small but clean
Patio: north with a few tables
Wheelchair accessible: no, as toilets are downstairs
Televisions: three
Live music: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Piped-in music: Jimi Hendrix and bad Bon Jovi

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


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