Owner Steve Cann (right) chats with the guests at Lipstick & Dynamite.
LIPSTICK & DYNAMITE992 Queen West, 416-535-4554
There are wine bars with lavish lists, beer bars studded with indie taps and cocktail bars stocked with rare bottles and strange tools manoeuvred by mixologists.
And then - thankfully - there are just bars. Newly opened Lipstick & Dynamite is one of those.
Owners Steve Cann and Celeste Toledo, old friends and co-workers, have opened a simple bar. A bar bar. The kind of place you return to because the drinks aren't pricey, the location's convenient and the staff always makes you smile. In the spirit of its no-nonsense neighbours, Sweaty Betty's around the corner and the Done Right Inn a few blocks east, sophistication is not the point. Comfort is.
So don't come to Lipstick & Dynamite expecting anything fancy. Do not prance through the door asking for a Last Word with mezcal, or even an Old-Fashioned. Don't come thirsting for esoteric tripels or craving deep-fried offal. You'll leave disappointed.
Do order from a fridge full of bottles and cans, a small shelf of whiskey and a few local taps (Beau's, Kensington Brewing Company, Duggan's) and grab a bite from the all-veg menu (meat option to come).
Do come to play a lone game of pinball, sift through the book exchange shelf stacked with dog-eared paperbacks or challenge your friends to a drunken game of Yahtzee.
Do return to chat with the charming owners, the type of warm folk remember your name and stock root beer because a single guest requests it.
L&D isn't out to prove anything to anyone. It's just a friendly dive free of douchebaggery, a place to escape the stumbling packs of weekend warriors roaming Ossington, a spot to drink without overthinking it.
Hours 4pm to close daily (for now)
Access One step at the entrance; washrooms in the back.