Previous Dive:
Next Dive:

Try their Italian-American fusion: the Spaghetti Western

Happy Cup Bar & Restaurant

1274 Bloor St. West

Despite encroaching gentrification, Bloordale Village continues to resist becoming a hipster haven. 

Slowing down the process could be the strip joints, bars on windows, second-hand stores or maybe even the two gents I saw urinating in tandem on the sidewalk. Whatever it is, the area retains some grit.  And smiling at the centre of it all is the Happy Cup Bar & Restaurant.

As usual, I was the “guy over there who looks like a cop,” so a shadowy gentleman approached and asked if I were a cop.  I denied it.  Then he told me I was a cop.  Again, I denied it.  He reiterated, “You are definitely a cop! I hate cops!” 

Getting a little nervous but not wanting to leave without a story, I asked how I’d prove it.  He said I’d have to drink six tequila shots in a row—the drink of his country, as he called it.

This was high noon Mexican style. Pulling out a girthy wad of U.S. cash, he bought the shots and placed them in front of me like he was loading bullets into a revolver.  Looking into his doubtful eyes, I slowly placed my hand on the counter, winked, and in a blinding flash, whacked down all six like I was gun-slingin’ Tuco from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

After the last shot, my face instantly fell under “the Ugly” category and my challenger burst into laughter saying, “Now we can be amigos!”

Salud to that.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Jacksoul Poster: No

Price: $3.75 domestic bottles.

Service: Friendly and a little frightened of their customers.


Burnt Goulash

Former Hungarian restaurant gone bankrupt.  Wall paneling and lighting are reminiscent of a schnitzel house.  The rest of the look is a patchwork of IKEA and curb-castoff furniture.

Washroom facilities:

Ample. Customers use both the indoor and outdoor facilities (aka sidewalk).


Clean except for the rap sheets of some regulars.


TVs, cool jukebox, and watching wads of US cash being pulled out of pockets when it’s time to pay for a round.


The Bachelorette

During my visit, I was witness to a besotted swain proposing marriage to an eligible lady. He proposed and she immediately backhanded him across the head, then stormed out screaming expletives.  In case there was any doubt, his friend at the next table told him he should take that as a no.

It’s like Tim Hortons for cops.

As I said, they’ll tell you you’re a cop.  And no matter what you say, you’ll be considered a cop.  Take the badge because cops drink for free.

Paternal Denim

What’s more awesome than dad jeans?  Dad jeans dancing!

Six Degrees of City Pulse

A lady at the bar once worked at City Pulse with meteorologist Harold Hosein.  And I used to know a guy who worked with Gord Martineau who worked with Harold Hosein at City Pulse.   Maybe I witnessed the genesis of a Kevin Bacon-type thing.

The Last Call:

Dive Bar Mike recommends this bar for cheap beer lovers, pre-drinkers heading to House of Lancaster, and Kevin Bacon fans.


Previous Dive:
Next Dive: