56 The Esplanade
Ambience: Last week’s pub guide omitted one of the city’s cosiest and well-attended pubs, so to make amends this week The Pulse devotes precious column inches to Scotland Yard.
The pub is a bit of a sports fan’s dream with fairly traditional décor, big screen TVs, regular darts matches (careful, the board is hung precariously close to the front door) and plenty of Golden Tee games to bring out the John Daly in all of us — or at least ensure early onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. The speakers pump out classic and contemporary rock, but again, this is a sports-loving crowd that cares more about their pints and the Leafs score than all else.
Crowd: They’re definitely an older lot who might be overheard exalting on the lack of morality among today’s youth (literally, that’s not an exaggeration), but the clientele is decidedly more varied on weekends when neighbouring pubs such as the Bier Markt and Fionn MacCool’s draw a younger set with the Yard benefiting from the overflow.
Dress code: Dress down and fit in, but don’t be surprised if some in the crowd stop by after work in their power-suit finest. Discrepancies in attire aside, no one really cares what anyone else is wearing. If you want to show off your new designer gear, go next door to the Bier Markt.
Should I dance on the bar? Said behaviour should probably be avoided.
Will I get lucky? Like any pub on The Esplanade, your chances improve dramatically on weekends, but don’t get your hopes up.
Best accessory: A friend who knows how to hit the centre of a dart board and competitors willing to bet money that it can’t be done. Not that this is an establishment that encourages gambling, however.
Cocktail du jour: Do you even need to ask? Beer, mixed drinks and strong liquors (think whisky) are the preferred libations, but don’t be surprised to see a few shooters head over the bar when things get a little wilder.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Sunday.