Hitch (website, Twitter)
1216 Queen Street East, Toronto ON M4L 1C3 (on the north side, just steps from Leslie Street, the nearest major intersection is Broadview Avenue and Queen Street East) 647-352-7781
One more reason to move to Leslieville. Lucky bastards.
When Christopher Hitchens died in December 2011, I cried. The world lost a great writer and a great mind. So when a friend recently told me that a pub had opened here in Toronto named in his honour I had to go. (I also saw that Stephen Fry noted the pub’s existence.) Alas, we arrived at four in the afternoon on a Saturday and it wasn’t open yet! We returned when the pub was open and it was worth it. It would appear that Leslieville now has an unfair number of decent pubs in the neighbourhood — the child-free Roy, the charming Ceili Cottage, and, as of early 2013, Hitch. It’s not fair!
Hitch is tiny, there is seating for a maximum of 30 people and they didn’t sacrifice the kitchen space for the guests as there doesn’t appear to be a kitchen as all the snacks and appetizers are cold and likely prepared off site. In terms of décor, Hitch is minimalist, with grey walls and mason jar light fixtures. There is a long bench for a group of eight people and seating for four or five at the back, other than that you are looking at seating for two. The only drawbacks of Hitch are the small menu and a rather small selection of beers. That said, I will be back, at five.
Number of visits by yours truly: my first, but not my last, on a Saturday afternoon in February 2013
TTC information: a 12-minute ride eastbound from Queen Station on the Queen streetcar
Booze selection: 15 beers, including Magners cider, lots of whiskeys, bourbons, scotches, and cocktails, not surprisingly given Hitchens’ fondness for the drink (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: just snacks and appetizers, such as olives and pâté
Service staff: very friendly and chatty
Prices: expensive, but worth it
Toilets: two unisex ones
Patio: small one to the north
Wheelchair accessible: not really, it too cramped and the toilets aren’t really large enough
Televisions: mercifully none, but apparently there is a projector and they might show TED discussions
Live music: very likely not as there is seating for 30 maximum in the pub (somewhere else says 40, but they miscounted)
Piped-in music: “hipster-ish”
Rating: four and a half pints (out of five)