552 College St.
Ambience: Having trouble finding the Midtown? You’re not the only one. This bar-restaurant-billiards lounge has no visible signage (which gets a bit irritating when you’re already late for a date and can’t find the place) and offers a fairly typical example of the brand of nightlife dished out on College Street, complete with the long, relatively narrow layout.
Arrive early on a Saturday and you may think you’ve chosen the wrong place to party. But Midtown gets packed anytime around 11 p.m. when the place floods with a younger crowd looking to snag digits at any opportunity. The people-watching entertainment value alone is worth the visit.
Crowd: The dinner set is older, but again, when the clock strikes close to midnight, the mood and the faces change dramatically. A younger mix of hipsters and scene-setters stage their invasion, claiming tables and what little floor space they can.
Dress code: Upscale casual is the norm, just avoid the usual fashion culprits —sports gear, ripped jeans, running shoes from the ’80s, etc.
Should I dance on the bar? Such behaviour is not appreciated.
Will I get lucky? Follow these directions: Mix, mingle and repeat. Employ this strategy and you’re almost sure to score.
Best accessory to avoid: The striped shirt. This sartorial staple desperately needs to be retired.
Cocktail du jour: The selection of beer on tap is interesting, but it’s the cocktails and martinis that are the showcase drinks. The Midtown features a varied list of old classics (Blue Hawaii, anyone?) and some of their own concoctions, as well as a decent selection of wines by the glass.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday to Sunday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.