Turns out, our neighbors to the north know how to throw a party — and everyone’s invited.
It’s almost closing time at The Imperial Pub and Tavern near Dundas Square in Toronto. I came here on the rumor that tabs are sometimes settled by arm wrestling, though there’s no evidence of that tonight.
No matter. There’s no leaving this place. The jukebox is filled with jazz records, and the atmosphere says dirty, local pub, not snooty jazz club. It is amazing how great jazz sounds when mixed with the ambience of barked cuss words and sloshing pints slammed on tables.
The Imperial was recommended by a Toronto newspaper reporter and friend known to have an affinity for unique places, and she’s adding to the din of sear words while pouring beer in everyone’s glass. She describes Dundas Square as the Times Square of Toronto, but honestly it feels more like Cleveland’s Public Square with a touch of East Fourth Street.