chris atchison/metro toronto
4 Dundonald St.
Ambience: Local 4 is about as non-descript as most venues get — and that’s probably its main selling point. It’s very much the kind of place where regulars go for dinner and stay for drinks afterwards, or maybe even skip the first stage and opt for the liquid meal. Either way, there’s a comfortable, unpretentious charm to the space, which explains the local loyalty. The vibe is extremely chill with music selected by the staff playing in the background (eclectic tastes only, please) and the odd piece of art lining the walls to provide extra conversation material. It’s not a posh bar, but that’s why they love it.
Crowd: Local 4 attracts its fair share of hipsters, couples and spillover crowd from Church Street. Most are in their late-20s to early 30s; almost everyone is too relaxed to bother fronting any sort of negative attitude.
Dress code: Looking somewhat respectable is about the only sartorial guideline to which you’ll have to adhere.
Should I dance on the bar?: You might get away with it, but only on very special occasions.
Will I get lucky?: Highly unlikely. Although it’s not a bad — if extremely low-key — date spot, scoring your next date shouldn’t be on the agenda.
Best emotional accessory: Willpower — martinis and homemade desserts can be a deadly mix.
Cocktail du jour: Fans of craft beer will find a welcome home at Local 4 with the significant selection of microbrews by the bottle and on tap. There’s also a nice cocktail and martini list worth exploring on a boozy night — the Absinteeni (absinth, cherry brandy, cranberry and pear juice) and the Digeridoo (vodka, lime juice, cordial, bitters, 7-up) are two highlights. Beer fans should give the Headstrong Munich Lager a try. Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, this is one place where you won’t be judged on your choice of beverage.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday and Friday 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.