What's a good birthday-party-hosting bar in Toronto?
December 3, 2013 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm turning 29 this month. Hooray! Fortunately, I've just moved much closer to downtown Toronto. Unfortunately, my apartment is now too small to host a birthday party. I'm looking for a good bar to host a come-and-go sort of informal party on Sunday, December 15th.

Ideally, this will be a place that is:

-Okay with a constantly-changing group size
-Big enough to have an area where 20 people could fit
-Decent drink selection and good food is a plus (interesting specials?)
-Open to people playing card or board games (either with its own games or we can bring them)
-On the Danforth or not too far away would be a plus
-As accessible to transit as possible
-We are nice and not too rowdy people; think that sort of atmosphere

A place like Snakes and Lattes would be great, but I've run up against their "you have a reservation but you still have to wait two hours" reality.

I would love any suggestions you can give! If you can answer this question, you are totally invited.
posted by ilana to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Nowhere even close to the Danforth but 3030 Dundas in the Junction is pretty spacious and also has a lot of board games.
posted by SoftRain at 10:29 AM on December 3, 2013

Best answer: The Black Swan near Broadview Station: the second floor had space for a reading series so it would probably fit your party.
posted by ServSci at 10:41 AM on December 3, 2013

20 people is possibly pushing the size a little, but check out Victory Cafe in Mirvish Village -- it's not that close to the Danforth, but it's less than a block from Bathurst station and there's a Green P parking lot, too. They have this little side room next to the downstairs bar that you can often reserve for a group.

There are also several Snakes and Lattes imitators around town, which I suspect are not as busy as Snakes and Lattes. Check out Roll Play and Go Lounge, I think there might be a couple more.

There are also bars that are pretty game-friendly, even if it isn't their focus. Stout on College is one of them.

The Toronto Area Gamers hosts a monthly game day at the Yellow Griffin, but your group might be a bit on the smallish side to reserve their upstairs room for yourself. And it might be a bit late, anyway, given that it's December and office Christmas party season is in full swing.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2013

southern accent has these great little private party rooms that you can reserve for the night - they're really nice, and the food is yum.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:02 PM on December 3, 2013

I've hosted a couple of birthday parties with similar criteria at the Bedford Academy. It's right on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, the staff were very helpful both when making the reservation and taking care of things during the party and everyone had a great time. They didn't seem stressed about the number of people ebbing and flowing as the night wore on - I had given them a rough idea but they were super easygoing and seemed to understand how parties work.

YMMV during the holiday season - my most recent experience was in June.

Food is good - not eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-my-head awesome, but it disappeared quickly enough.
posted by champagneminimalist at 2:50 PM on December 3, 2013

I hosted a party at Disgraceland over the summer and a friend had one there a few weeks ago. The place can definitely host a group larger than 20; if you send an email then you can reserve a set of tables near the back. There are a bunch of board games, etc, and I am pretty sure it would be okay to bring your own. The cocktails are pretty great, the meals can be hit or miss, but the snack food is usually good (along the lines of fries, nachos, or deep-fried pickles). It's not on the Danforth, sorry, but still on the Bloor line.

ps happy birthday!
posted by smallvictories at 8:21 PM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone; these are all great ideas. I picked The Black Swan this year, but I'm saving these for future years, because I don't think my apartment is getting any bigger. You're all invited this Sunday.
posted by ilana at 7:36 PM on December 10, 2013

Response by poster: Just as an FYI follow-up to anyone reading this: The Black Swan doesn't serve food beyond a token daily special, but the owner has a relationship with a Cuban restaurant down the street that will cater. It was a nice party.
posted by ilana at 12:35 PM on January 2, 2014

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