chris atchison/metro toronto
Portland Beer House
600 King St. W.
Ambience: The former Amsterdam Brewery is undergoing significant renovations to its King West digs with promises of a full-service dining room and bar to come. Work is scheduled for completion sometime in the fall. In the meantime, they’re still serving plenty of brew in a fairly traditional atmosphere where a well-placed patio and friendly staff keep drawing regulars. Expect to hear a blend of satellite-service classic rock as you step downstairs for your pint.
Crowd: It’s an older King West crowd, which tends to make Portland Beer House their home away from home. Thirty-somethings visit the bar for a bit of low-key conversation and relaxation, while the occasional patron in their early to mid-20s find their way in for a night cap after a night at one of the many trendy neighbourhood haunts.
Dress code: Wear what you like, but beer apparel is a natural fit.
Should I dance on the bar? The atmosphere is anything but dance-on-the-bar crazy.
Will I get lucky? Not until renovations are complete.
Best accessory: A passion for microbrews.
Cocktail du jour: If you hadn’t guessed it already, beer is the drink of choice, although the bar is well-stocked to accommodate those with an aversion to barley and hops.
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.