The corner of Queen and Bathurst is just like that pretty girl that never presented herself in the right light, plenty of potential, yet needing a change. Since the opening of 416 Snack bar just north of Queen on the east side of Bathurst the perception has started to transform just like that girl you’ve been going to the gym with for the past 8 months.
Outside 416 you’ll see well-dressed young professionals smoking cigarettes and conversing while waiting for a table or getting fresh air. There’s a New York aura to the location and feel of the bar, in respect to consistent live music or house DJ jamming hard, great manhattans, rustic chipped paint walls, trending clientele and awesome snacks. For the most part, it gets busy in the late evening however they open at 6 for people getting out of work ready to release or others like myself looking to start the party early.
Small communal style tables are filled with predominately drool worthy women and couples drinking beers while eating bite sized deliciousness like sushi pizza, mini big mac’s and a range of snack-inspired dishes. One of my favorites, a Scotch Eggs Benny, is a poached egg wrapped in sausage then deep-fried, cut in half and topped with an orange hollandaise sauce. One dish I don’t enjoy currently on the menu is the rabbit lettuce wrap, it’s a good concept however not close to perfected. It reminds me of that time I tried deep frying butter at 2 am, great idea but it was a disaster. It wasn’t so much bland as it was watery, and I don’t think it should stay on the menu.
The menu changes from time to time but whatever works stays on the menu like the Momofuku style pork buns that lays on a steamed bun with cilantro and Asian BBQ sauce or the mini bite sized hot dog. Adrian Ravinsky and David Stewart are always looking to switch it up in order to please the ever-changing pallet of Toronto’s affluent urban youth and have been doing so successfully.
416 is proving to be one of the best bars to get a bite or party. Their continual effort to stay relevant in tastes, music and trends keep them on point.