751 Queen St. W.
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Ambience: They call Paddy Murphy’s an Irish pub, but this definitely isn’t Dora Keogh. Paddy Murphy’s is best described as a grungy, urban bar — a far cry from your grandpa’s favourite watering hole. The mix of classic and alternative rock and metal that the ever-changing DJs spin on weekends, along with the hip Queen West crowd, reflects the artistic and cultural sway of the neighbourhood to a tee. To be fair, there are a few elements of the Emerald Isle here and there, but Paddy’s is known for its harder-edged vibe and alternative crowd above all else.
Most importantly, it’s a good place for a couple of stiff drinks — especially in the comfy-yet-surreal downstairs bar.
Crowd: This is a pub in keeping with Queen West’s after-dark atmosphere. Don’t expect to find old men sitting on bar stools telling tales of their glory days. Instead you’ll probably sit next to locals who stopped in for a pint after catching their favourite indie metal band at Lee’s Palance or Kathedral. You’ll generally find a crowd in the 25 to 35-year-old age range.
Dress code: Wear jeans, T-shirts, whatever you’d like. Black is always de rigueur.
Should I dance on the bar?: It’s a toss-up-use your discretion.
Will I get lucky?: Are you into tattoo art? Is Marilyn Manson a personal hero? Do you consider Skinny Puppy one of the greatest bands of all time? If you answered yes to two of these questions, you’ve got a chance.
Best accessory: Any sort of piercing.
Cocktail du jour: Opt for beer. There are two wine selections, white and red, but the import brew choices are solid. Any libation in a rock glass would also suffice.