The hard-working, hard-drinking members of Rock Plaza Central take their hanging out seriously. Here are their picks for the best places to kick back and hoist a pint in our fair city.
CHRIS EATON: "The Tranzac (292 Brunswick, 416-923-8137) has always been our 'practice space away from practice space,' where they would allow us to play every couple of weeks, if by 'play' they meant drink a lot and rush off to the bathroom as many times as possible in the middle of your set while inventing songs on the fly. The best beer and the best staff."
FIONA STEWART: "There are 23 beers on tap and great live music/DJs nightly, dark wood and a slightly out-of-tune piano. The lights get dimmer as the evening wears on. And the lovingly crafted coat of arms on the front door of the Cloak & Dagger (394 College, 416-921-8308) exemplifies the dedication that many feel for this local, where the staff, owners and patrons resemble a beautifully dysfunctional family."
ROB CARSON: "I like going to the Victory Café (581 Markham, 416-516-5787), because the beers on tap are consistently first-rate, the patio is idyllic in summer and the second floor is a fantastic venue for poetry readings, plays and other arts events. Plus, it means I'm usually a good 6.5 km away from Don Murray, and that's how I like it."
JOHN WHYTOCK: "I find myself at the Rebel House (1068 Yonge, 416-927-0704) a lot. The staff are brilliant, the food's superior and the atmosphere's close and living-room familiar. But it's really all about the beer. They've always got the best of Ontario and Quebec on tap."
DON MURRAY: "After a show or a late night at work, Donald (with a nod to the Lowest of the Low) often finds himself a decent pint and better company at the Only Café (972 Danforth, 416-463-7843)."
BLAKE HOWARD: "My favourite is the back-of-the-car bar, drinking a box of red wine with Dave Clark. For some reason, once you're in the car you can't remember the waitresses! All I know is the drinks are free. There's music at just the right volume to make you feel fuzzy, and there seems to be a road outside that's going by at a frenetic pace. The wine is quite awful but keeps getting better, and the proprietor is jovial and laughs at everything you say."