chris atchison/metro toronto
22 Cumberland St.
Ambience: The Pilot has stood in Yorkville since 1944, at its current address since 1972 and under its current ownership since 1987. The name of the bar-restaurant was meant to honour fliers returning from World War II and, sure enough, pilots have long been a source of steady clientele. Nowadays the trendy Yorkville location draws a more varied crowd, but that airborne theme and lengthy history give The Pilot character not found in many Toronto watering holes.
Crowd: Not many young adults here; this bar caters to an older clientele looking for a good pint and a good chat with friends after work or on their days off.
Dress code: Despite the name, flight suits probably aren’t appropriate, nor are business suits required. The look is casual, but expect to find a range of apparel as locals, business folk and regulars all take their seats for a relaxing, pint-accented flight courtesy of The Pilot.
Should I dance on the bar? Only if you’ve got your wings.
Will I get lucky? All good pilots need to keep their eyes open for a break in the romantic clouds. There may not always be many, but on weekends there could be just enough to make your sortie interesting.
Best accessory: A wing man/woman.
Cocktail du jour: Beer is a major seller, but the clientele opts for a range of beverages including cocktails, wine and harder spirits. Any drink is appropriate, but beer drinkers will be in their glory as they take time to test-fly each of the bar’s many brews on tap.
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sundays noon to 8 p.m.