379 Harbord St.
Ambience: Hipsters have long ventured to The Roxton for lengthy conversations over dinner or drinks. It’s the sort of place that people in the neighbourhood know and love, but is largely unknown to the rest of the world (ie. people who don’t live around Ossington and Harbord). A tightly packed group of tables and booths defines this contemporary space, allowing for an intimate and interesting night out. The Roxton is also a good pre-drinking spot for those looking for a bite to eat and a glass of wine (or three) before hitting a rowdier venue.
Crowd: So hip it hurts, in some cases, but still fun to hang around. Expect a range of clientele from students in their early 20s to neighbourhood folks aged 50 plus. Some come to be seen, but most are just here to chill with friends.
Dress code: None to speak of, but irony is always on the sartorial menu.
Should I dance on the bar?: Dropping verses of improvised poetry on the bar might work with some in the crowd, but dancing? Absolutely not.
Will I get lucky?: Only if you bring a date. Pick up opportunities are virtually non-existent (I say “virtually” because there are those of us who could score in a morgue, or anywhere for that matter), but the chances to woo a new friend over dinner and drinks are abundant.
Best accessory: The service can be slow on occasion, so bring a chatty friend or a decent book and lose track of time.
Cocktail du jour: Beer and wine are probably The Roxton’s biggest sellers. They have a small selection of brews on tap and the wine list by the glass, although short, is just interesting enough to grab a connoisseur’s attention.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.