574 College 416-533-2417 Rating: NNNNN
VIBE A fixture in little Italy since before the strip was hip, College Street Bar, like most in the hood, doubles as a restaurant and lounge. By night expect DJs playing hiphop, rock and funk or, on some nights, live bands providing the grooves. The decor is modest and unpretentious, but that will change when it hits Food Network’s Restaurant Makeover show, so don’t be surprised if it’s suddenly slick and modern-looking next time you visit.
DANCING & CHILLING There’s a bit of room for dancing in front of the DJ booth, but very few people take advantage of it. It’s more of a sitting-and-lounging kind of spot.
SOUND & LIGHTS For a bar of this type, the sound system is pretty beefy, which means the sound isn’t nearly as distorted and tinny as in most of the College joints.
OUTDOOR ACCESS There’s a cute, intimate patio in the backyard that’s licensed, and the front windows are wide open in the summer for those who like to people watch.