chris atchison/metro toronto
10 Yonge St.
Ambience: Sports fans who live south of the mighty Gardiner Expressway will probably already be familiar with the Harbour Sports Grille.
The sports bar caters to those pouring out of the ACC and looking for drinks after games, as well as area residents looking for a lively spot to watch games, shoot pool, indulge in a few arcade games or even participate in their regular Thursday night Texas Hold ’Em tournaments.
The décor is decidedly basic, but appropriate given the expectations of the clientele they serve. The Grille also features a ridiculous number of televisions — more than 50 at last count plus two big screens — including televisions in the washrooms so you never miss a goal, basket, or home run.
Crowd: Mixed among the regulars from Metro’s sister paper The Toronto Star located directly across the street are a fairly diverse range of customers, from everyday Joes out for a pint and some sporting fun, to corporate types hammering out last-minute business deals. The majority of the clientele is male, not a big surprise given the sports theme and rather utilitarian beer-and-greasy appetizer atmosphere.
Dress code: Casual wear will suffice, with a heavy emphasis on sports gear. But as a protest, avoid the Leafs jerseys if they don’t make the playoffs this year — send a message that they need to shake things up down at the ACC!
Should I dance on the bar? Only when the Leafs realize that acquiring recycled utility players at the trade deadline, a Cup contender does not make.
Will I get lucky? Not a hope in hell, but word is the signature chicken ball dish is very tasty. Doesn’t help? Didn’t think so.
Best accessory: A healthy appetite for all things sports-related.
Cocktail du jour: The bar moves a decent volume of coolers (especially in summer), not to mention mixed drinks, but beer rules the day as sports fans look for pints to ease their sorrows over another Leafs loss.
Hours: Open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.