The Duke of Kent
2315 Yonge St.
Ambience: Neighbourhood pubs in Toronto have become increasingly generic, even franchised by major corporations, in recent years. The Duke Of Kent is one of six “Dukes” pubs in the city, but like its sister pubs and many of the venues in the competing Firkin chain, this one has managed to preserve a sense of individuality and place in its area. Perhaps it’s the cozy booths, the regular-friendly bar or the lively buzz throughout the week (and more so on weekends), but the Duke will leave you feeling more like you’ve visited The Rovers Return on Coronation Street than one link in a chain.
Crowd: Most pubs tend to draw patrons ranging from university age to elderly adulthood, and this one is no different. Most of the crowd is typically in their early to mid-thirties, but a mix of ages, income levels and devotion to partying makes them fun to watch.
Dress code: Most of the clientele come here from work, after shopping or on their way out for a night of debauchery, so the attire is generally comfortably fashionable. Beyond that the normal rules of pub-wear apply — soccer jerseys are welcomed, shirts are necessary (as are shoes), and casual is the key to sartorial success.
Should I dance on the bar? Not unless the Duke of Kent himself gives you permission.
Will I get lucky? It’s a possibility, but not a sure thing. If you’re the type who can approach a table full of strangers, sit down and have a conversation, your odds definitely improve. Otherwise you might want to hit one of the area clubs and lounges.
Best accessory: Connections to snag one of those booths.
Cocktail du jour: No surprise here, but beer by the pint is the beverage on the minds of most who cross the Duke’s threshold. Many patrons also opt for wine or mixed drinks, especially if they’re paying the Duke a visit to dine.
Hours: Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.