THE OSSINGTON STOP 1164 Dundas West, 416-537-3535, ossingtonstop.ca
The month-old Ossington Stop caught my eye for the first time with a sandwich board proclaiming "Shot Bar!," to which I reacted with averted gaze and quickened pace in the opposite direction.
But then I thought about it and decided I needed to go despite the sandwich board's best effort to discourage my business.
The simple little bar at the intersection of Ossington and Dundas is all about value booze (a shot of Jameson and a glass of Creemore run you $8) and belly-filling snacks like heavily peppered, soupy Georgian pork dumplings called khinkali ($2.50 each) and mac 'n' cheese ($8) served till midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, till 3:30 am Thursday to Sunday.
The strict "no mixed drinks policy" steers your options into shot-and-a-beer territory. I take no issue with that - sometimes beer and whiskey is the only way to drink. The bar shelf may be the sparsest in the city - Tito's, Jameson, Jack and Jäger - but simple hard liquor is what shots are all about. And I'm stoked that this "shot bar" stocks no blue Curaçao, Sourpuss or peppermint schnapps. House red and white are available if you must take that route.
Guests flock in and out of the grey-and-black room, which actually resembles a public transit platform, with lots of metal and non-slip floors. This keeps turnover brisk, especially on weekends, when the Stop becomes an outpost for pre-gaming or for filling your face between bar and bed.
Hours Noon to midnight Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. Noon to 4 am Thursday to Saturday. Closed Monday.
Access Two steps at entrance, washrooms in basement.