Grace O’Malley’s (website, Twitter)
14 Duncan Street, Toronto ON M5H 3G8 (at the intersection of Duncan Street and Pearl Street, where Ed Mirvish Way turns into Duncan Street, the nearest major intersection is University Avenue and King Street West) 416-596-1444
A Maritime- and Irish-influenced pub in Toronto’s financial district.
As an avid theatre goer, I was surprised to learn of Grace O’Malley’s. I have spent a lot of time over the years finding a place to eat before attending something at the Princess of Wales or the Royal Alexandra Theatres or Roy Thomson Hall and in my research, I’d never stumbled across the pub. However, if you think this is a suitable place for a pre-theatre meal, then it might be a good idea to go somewhere else. The pub (named after an Irish heroine, but Maritime-themed) was loud, so very loud that I was straining to hear what my dining companions were saying and it’s not really designed for relaxing pre-theatre dining (however, our waitress did ask how long we were going to be as I expect she guessed we were seeing a nearby production and not staying for the band).
That said, Grace O’Malley’s draws its clientele from the financial district, it was very much an after-work crowd, full of business professionals, hence why it opens at four on the weekends. The pub has lots of stained glass partitions, tonnes of wood, including numerous barrels (why?), and a penchant for spelling Gracie’s without the apostrophe.
Number of visits by yours truly: first and last visit on a weekday evening in December 2012
TTC information: a five-minute walk north-west from St. Andrew Station, if you are coming from King Street, note Duncan Street is called Ed Mirvish Way from King Street East to Pearl Street
Booze selection: 13 beers with Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: traditional pub grub with good fish and chips
Service staff: good
Prices: not bad
Patio: east-facing and tiny
Wheelchair accessible: no way
Televisions: lots and all showing sports
Live music: yes, most nights of the week. Check the website for details
Piped-in music: not on
Rating: three and a half pints (out of five)