This week: The Pulse turns a whopping 200 instalments old (who knew this city had that many great bars? and to commemorate this momentous occasion, we’re handing out The Pulse Awards in several key categories based on four years of hard partying, drinking and carousing. But we like to call it “research.”
Best Ambience: Ultra Supper Club — With a recently renovated lounge area, a truly notable restaurant and one of the city’s best patios — not to mention a hand-picked clientele that are the real deal — Ultra is a premium experience in every way.
Most Appealing Crowd: Devil’s Martini — The clientele is consistent, the place is almost always full to capacity and the crowd is always friendly enough to make an evening interesting.
Best Dressed Clientele: Avenue — The Four Seasons lobby bar is a home-away-from-home for the city’s movers, shakers, and sartorially aware bon vivants. Most of whom can actually afford real designer wear while the rest of us head straight to H & M for the knock-off versions.
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Venue Where You’re Least Likely To Get Kicked Out For Dancing On The Bar: Grace O’Malley’s — Not too surprising for a place that hires a live ‘leprechaun’ to dance on the bar for St. Patrick’s Day.
Venue Where A Stylish Accessory Will Help You Get Lucky: Brant House — Pack your state-of-the-art Blackberry and a platinum card and wave both liberally about. Then watch the gold-diggers flock (that includes guys looking to “network” themselves into a better Bay Street office tower).
Venue Where You’re Most Likely To Get Lucky?: Devil’s Martini — Pack an overnight bag and enjoy.
Best Casual Patio: Gretzky’s — Leave it to the Great One to get relaxed, patio-drinking right. The space is vast and familiar, the oasis-like décor is a tad cheesy, but there are few better places in this city to kick back with an ice-filled bucket of Coronas.
Best Club Or Lounge Patio: The Drake — Long lines make access all but impossible on hot Saturday nights in summer, but the Drake’s patio offers a perfect combination of funky crowd and chilled outdoor lounging.
Best Pub: The Duke Of Gloucester — Think EastEnders but with a slightly rougher crowd and more university students.
Best Date Venue: A tie between Pravda and Crush — The former offers a kitschy, Soviet-era theme and a fantastic vodka selection with comfy chairs and dim lighting. The latter, a slightly pricier French bistro vibe with a phenomenal wine selection-you decide.
Best Place To Over-Spend On A Night Of Drinking: Muzik — Bring your credit card (actually, clear your credit card) and prepare to pay ridiculous sums of money to drink in this overly-pretentious, flash-in-the-pan club.
Best Cocktail Menu: Wish — This hip Charles Street haunt has an intimate patio perfect for sipping through their long list of drinks. Clear your schedule, take the next day off work — you’ll need it.
Best Brew Pub/Beer-Drinking Venue: Mill Street Brewery — They brew their own in an old Distillery District heritage building and have some of the freshest and most diverse selection of brew around. Give ’er!