McGugan’s

McGugan’s (website, Twitter)
1058 Gerrard Street East, Toronto ON M4M 1Z8 (on the north side of Gerrard Street East, between Jones Avenue and Galt Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Pape Avenue and Gerrard Street East) 416-901-9859
Google Maps 

Salvation and redemption on Gerrard Street East. 

After the shattering disappointment of McCarthy’s (since closed) earlier that afternoon, I was in search of a better pub, a pub that would restore my faith. After wandering through Little India, which was not surprisingly devoid of pubs, we trekked westward in the on-and-off-again rain and. Then, like a lighthouse’s beacon in a storm, we saw the sign for McGugan’s. Salvation and redemption!

McGugan’s is an upscale pub, the kind that you could take someone to on a first date. It features nice wooden floors, with dining room chairs and booths for four, and is open until two seven nights a week (it says late on the website, so perhaps it changes due to demand). At first, we sat in the front of the pub on stools with the narrow drink rail, but after looking at the menu, which features some tasty Old World treats, like black pudding and haggis, we moved to the back so we could order a meal instead. We liked McGugan’s so much that we went back there for the Euro Cup’s England vs. Italy game. Note there is an upstairs, but it’s very small.

Number of visits by yours truly: twice so far and more to come, most recently on a Sunday afternoon in June 2012
TTC information: a 17-minute ride east from College Station on the Gerrard Street East streetcar or a 10-minute ride south on the Jones bus from Donlands Station
Booze selection: 11 beers with Waupoos cider on tap (yes, they have Pimm’s)
Food selection: Scottish focus, I ordered haggis and black pudding 
Service staff: good
Prices: a little expensive, but worth it
Toilets: could have been cleaner, but I’ve seen a lot worse. The toilets themselves were rather cramped and the men’s didn’t have paper towels the entire time we were there
Patio: upstairs and under construction as of early June 2012
Wheelchair accessible: nope
Televisions: two and a big screen for sporting events
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: Eurythmics, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC

Rating: five pints (out of five) 

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