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Buzz on bars: The Fox

September 2011 


Like many bars and restos, The Fox happened purely by chance. Bar manager Rob Montgomery says the folks behind The Miller Tavern (at Yonge and York Mills) were setting up another location in the area and got wind of the fact that a prime location near the ACC had unexpectedly opened up.


Enter the Pegasus Group (best known for the Fox & Fiddle bars), which as a silent partner backed the Miller Tavern people in the interest of opening an upscale version of the chain. The components for a solid moneymaker, combined with the cash to make it possible were in place. Pretty much a can’t-lose situation, right? Time will tell, as they only opened on Sept. 13. They’re hoping to attract the pre- and post-Leafs crowd, condo-dwellers and newsroom types over at 1 Yonge St.

 

The vibe: The Fox keeps it simple: White walls, dark upholstery and wood paneling, the five TVs play sports round the clock. But there are a couple of standout items that will elicit a chuckle or two. Near the bathroom, where the word for “toilet” is painted on the wall in various languages, you’ll find a version of Emanuel Leutze’s painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware with the American revolutionary figures subbed out for members of the Wu-Tang Clan. In the limited edition print, signed by RZA himself (it also has his handprints), he leads ODB and a group of ninjas across the raging river with Old Glory defiantly adroit.


The bar: The bar list will evolve, but for now The Fox offers craft beers and signature cocktails. A notable one here is Beau’s Dunkel Buck, a fortified, darker version of a Bavarian Weizenbock, the rarity of it reflected in the price ($20 for 600 ml). Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale, Spirit Tree Pub Styled Cider, Okanagan Spring 1516 Bavarian Lager and Duggan’s No. 9 and No. 5 are on draught, around $6. Old Vienna ($5) is also on draught, primarily because Montgomery notes, “all these doofus hipsters are drinking PBR” so he wanted to bring back an “ironic” beer of his own choosing.

Gentlemen, feel no shame or emasculation should you order a cocktail here. The bar has its “Fox-nificent Seven” menu named after the stars from the western classic, The Magnificent Seven, notably the Steve McQueen’s Old Fashioned (Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon, Amarena cherry, orange and angostura, $9.73).


The grub: Pub fare as you might guess, but the big hits here, according to chef Ryan Haapala, are the burgers (there’s a Tandoori Turkey Burger ground with mango raita, $12) and the Nacho Stack with pork, chicken chili, pepper jack, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, jalapenos and scallions, $16.


What (not) to wear: As you are Must know: As Leaf fans will seek the nearest place to drown their sorrows (or celebrate as the case may be -- but let’s be frank, these are the Leafs), The Fox notes it may get a little backed up on game nights. Stake your claim early.

 

The Fox
35 Bay St.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30 a.m - close
416-869-3535
foxonbay.ca