Louis Cifer Brew Works

Louis Cifer Toronto

Louis Cifer Brew Works (website, Twitter)
417 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1P1 (on the south side, between Hampton Avenue and Logan Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Broadview and Danforth) 647-350-5087
Google Maps 

Pub of the Future. 

Louis Cifer Brew Works has a lot going for it — catchy homonym based on the devil, large location in the heart of Greektown (you can see the painted Corinthian columns on the building’s corners), beer-to-go service, open weekday afternoons unlike some of its competition, and decent food and beer. However, a mark against this pub is that it is owned by the same people as Stout Irish Pub. Stout was a disappointing pub, very disappointing, and you deserve better. Fortunately, Louis Cifer is better, then again, almost anywhere is better.

Louis Cifer opened recently, circa October 2014, and it still has that new pub smell, as well as a few opening hurdles to get over. It has an upstairs area, large vats behind a glass enclosure (which still may not actually be working as apparently this part of the launch hit a few bumps), tasting notes cards, and a modern ambiance compared to most traditional pubs, with its leather chairs, shining chrome, stark colours, and tin ceilings panels.

Number of visits by yours truly: first, but not my last, on a weekday afternoon in November 2014
TTC information: within stumbling distance of Chester Station
Booze selection: 24 beers including six of their own brews, which are apparently being brewed off site at several different locations, Pommies cider, as well as a number of wines, scotches, hoptails, flights of beer, etc. (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: gastropub and traditional pub dishes, I had the crispy pork belly rinds and I will have them again. The menu is online
Service staff: not bad, but a number of other online reviewers pointed out delays they experienced and poor service
Prices: expensive
Toilets: fancy with naughty toilet signs
Patio: up-and-over doors and they have a small narrow patio in the summer on the Danforth
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Televisions: four that I could see, one being a projector screen upstairs
Live music: likely not, the seating seemed pretty stationary
Piped-in music: Peter Gabriel, Rolling Stones, Big Star

Rating: four pints (out of five) 

TorontoPubs’ Danforth (Greek Town) Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/vjS7eDq9z1T2

Updated 2017.01.16

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (1 km) takes about a quarter hour in total taking into account traffic signals. Keep in mind that Dora Keogh can get crowded, Louis Cifer is a little big for its britches, and that Allen’s can be snobby.

Notes on pub crawls in general: consider at least 45 minutes per pub visit and let your server know that you having just one drink and then moving on into the fizzy night so she/he knows that you’ll need your bill quickly. Pay by cash so you aren’t waiting for the credit card/debit machine and tip generously as you may be back one day for longer than just one drink. Check the pub’s website/Twitter (links in TorontoPubs review of establishment) in case they have an event that night. Also keep in mind the day and time, Saturday nights with the FIFA World Cup’s final on is not the best night for said pub crawl.

Printable PDF of this TorontoPubs’ Danforth Pub Crawl with map.

The Old Nick (TorontoPubs review)
123 Danforth Avenue 

Dora Keogh (TorontoPubs review)
141 Danforth Avenue

Allen’s (TorontoPubs review)
143 Danforth Avenue

The Auld Spot (TorontoPubs review)
347 Danforth Avenue

Louis Cifer Brew Works (TorontoPubs review)
417 Danforth Avenue

The Brass Taps Pizza Pub (TorontoPubs review)
493 Danforth Avenue

The Fox and Fiddle (TorontoPubs review)
535 Danforth Avenue

The Court Jester (TorontoPubs review)
681 Danforth Avenue

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

The Auld Spot (Danforth)

The Auld Spot (website, Twitter)
347 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1N7 (on the south side, between Bowden Street and Hampton Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Broadview Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-406-4688
Google Maps 

A lovely ‘spot’ on the Danforth for some liquid restoration. 

One of the nice things about writing this blog is that I get to go back to pubs I visited before and have the pleasant experience of realizing how much I like the pub. Case in point: The Auld Spot. Nestled in a lovely part of the Danforth, near some neat shops, such as Alex’s Farm Products (seriously, they don’t have a website!) and Book City, and several other pubs (the Old Nick, Allen’s, and Dora Keogh) the Auld Spot manages to hold its own against some serious competition.

The first time I remember going to the Auld Spot was on St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago, we managed to get a table — it was early afternoon — and enjoyed a pint before pressing on. We’ve been back several times and always enjoy our visits. The seating is mixed, booths, high tables, and chairs around the bar filled with regulars. Large groups might find it difficult to find a suitable spot. The walls are that gorgeous burnt orange and there are white branches on the ceiling covered with fairy lights at the back. Sometimes, while in pubs, my better half and I talk about opening our own pub, if we did, it would be similar to the Auld Spot on the Danforth.

Take note that there is an Auld Spot pub in Little Italy, so make sure your pub posse knows which one to go to. Also see my update on service at the pub. Not impressed!

Number of visits by yours truly: three or four, most recently on a Saturday afternoon in March 2012
TTC information: within stumbling distance of Chester Station
Booze selection: 14 on tap, including Magners cider, and seven in bottles, lots of Scotches (yes, they have Pimm’s!)
Food selection: comfort food with a twist, such as wild boar burgers and oysters (served with oyster forks)
Service staff: update 2014.05.29 terrible service last evening. I asked for a menu when I ordered our drinks and after my companion arrived we sat for 20 minutes without service while our drinks slowly vanished. We finally gave up and decided to go to the Old Nick instead, which, as usual, was worth the visit
Prices: expensive
Toilets: lovely, lots of toilet paper, but only two booths, then again, it is a smaller pub
Patio: on the Danforth, but rather small
Wheelchair accessible: not really, there are no steps, but it’s cramped and the toilets aren’t accessible
Televisions: one, rather small and over the bar
Live music: too small — sweet mercies
Piped-in music: Spoons, Elvis Costello, Jimi Hendrix, they turned it up when Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” came on

Rating: four pints (out of five)