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A little taste of Millhaven in the big city.

Alfie’s Bar & Grill

222 Queen St. East

Curious what penitentiary life is like? Well, from the second its iron-bar door slams shut behind you to the moment you make your desperate escape, Alfie’s Bar & Grill could be the “soap-dropping-in-the-shower” time of your life.

Only interior photo of Alfie’s I could muster before making an exit due to getting the feeling I wasn’t welcome. Could have been the death threats.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Jacksoul Poster: No

Price: Affordable: $4.00 domestic bottled beer. It can get more expensive if you’re asked to pay protection money.

Service: Chatty. Bartender never stopped suggesting I leave. Quickly.


Abstract Expressionism.

Walls adorned with a Pollock-pastiche of beer stains, fist craters, nasal wipings, and blood spatter.

Washroom facilities:

Environmentally friendly.  Never flushed urinal and toilet means less sewage for Lake Ontario.


Regulars keen to participate in upkeep. More than one said they were “going to mop the floor with my ass.”


Pool table, jukebox, and spontaneous mixed martial arts demonstrations.


Celebrity Spotting:

Familiar faces from TV and print media (Crime Stoppers and wanted posters).

Vocabulary Expansion:

Learn new words such as “shiv”, “shank”, and how they apply to you.

Feel like you’re among family.

You’ll feel like you’re drinking with your grandfather. If your grandfather is Charles Manson.

Active Singles Scene:

It clearly has an active singles scene as four ladies asked if I wanted a date.

No middle-child syndrome:

You’ll be the centre of attention without realizing it. I suddenly overheard one guy tell another to keep his eyes on me, to which he replied, “I’ve been watching him for ten minutes.”

Kind of reminded me of the sex cult scene in Eyes Wide Shut.

Feel years younger:

Upon entry I heard “Look at the fresh meat!”

Great introduction to capital markets:

You’ll be witness to an active commodity trading floor.

Historical District:

Alfie’s is on a neglected but beautiful block of 19th century buildings. At one time it was a tidy middle-to-upper class retail area with everything a homemaker could need. The area has long-since changed but the retail has expanded to include exotic products from Columbia, Mexico and Afghanistan.  

Suggested musical accompaniment:

“Run Like Hell”
By Pink Floyd

The Last Call:

Dive Bar Mike recommends this bar for martial artists, battle-hardened soldiers and the suicidal.


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