WISE BAR 1007 Bloor West, 416-519-3139, facebook.com/wisebartoronto
The most disorienting thing about moving to a new 'hood isn't so much finding new places to buy fresh fruits and veg, body wash or the best take-out churrasqueira as it is figuring out where to absorb vital liquids with regularity.
I discovered my coffee shop on the second day, but pinpointing my local is taking time. After weeks of painstaking research, I've whittled down the list of contenders, and the newly opened Wise Bar is one of them.
Wise Bar is all about the beer. There's a thin lineup of spirits for shots and standard mixed drinks, but don't go asking for a cocktail.
And why would you? Owner Tamara Wise, a Bellwoods alumna, offers what she knows best. Five taps feature local brews, and the beer fridge is accumulating a golden ratio of local cans to Belgian bottles. There are even non-alcoholic options like ginger beer, and a kick-ass line of Dry sodas. Small snacks are available to fend off beerlerium.
The bar is still fresh-faced. Nothing adorns the light grey walls yet, though Wise's old family photographs will eventually add personality.
Even in its infancy, there's a feminine attentiveness to the small stuff that makes you feel at home. Bright red bar stools contrast with the light space, and fresh-cut flowers (never expired and sometimes cut from the backyard) crown every table. Service is always smiley.
"I wanted my bar to be a spot where anyone could walk in and feel comfortable. I wanted it to be inviting, clean and nice," Wise said. She even sacrificed capacity for a larger, L-shaped bar where locals and friends congregate.
Between quality beer and the friendly vibe, Wise Bar is a bar I'd visit weekly (drinking schedule permitting), if just to crush a pint and say "Hey."
Hours Daily 6 pm to 2 am. The Bloor West "construction special" every day from 6 to 8 pm shaves $1 off draught.
Access Barrier-free, washrooms on main floor.