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Be yourself. Or else.

Tommy’s Grill & Bar

1206 Danforth Ave.

Like other Danforth dives, Tommy’s Grill & Bar has the requisite cheap beer, eclectic characters, and bric-a-brac.

The big difference is the room’s enormous length. A trip to the washroom feels like a walk through the Louvre.  

Underpromise & overdeliver:  Sign said “cool beer” but it was served ice cold.

I guess I’m too literal, but based on the unusual placement of “Grill” before “Bar” in the name, I naively expected burgers and gyros.  And there is indeed a grill there, but the only grilling going on was a regular giving me the once over to make sure I wasn’t a cop. (What is it about me?!)

And once he felt comfortable I wasn’t carrying a badge, he told me there’s no room for snobs or posers. It’s a place to be yourself.  Phew, I knew I’d fit in.

As an added bonus, they regaled me with many east-end urban legends, but the one that stands out is “Casey Jones.” This guy apparently snorted 17 rails of cocaine in one sitting. Quite the feat.  Although, I think he’s since parked his locomotive in the big roundhouse in the sky.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Jacksoul Poster: Yes. Beside women’s washroom.

Price: Cheap to Affordable: $3 to $5.50 per bottle.

Lovely and talented.
This duet does an amazing “Islands in the Stream.” Tip big and they’ll do it for you. All I can say is: Kenny and Dolly, eat your heart out.


Tommy Tutone

Tommy Tutone is a unique bar design that features black and white flooring offset by peachy wall paint and a mish-mash of 1990s beer ads.

The idea is to get you thirsty while burning energy trying to understand why anyone would decorate like this.  It worked on me—I was perplexed and bought five more beer.

Washroom facilities:


Who knew? TVOntario Kids show writers get drunk and vandalize too. 

Washroom facilities: continued

Life affirming!

In most dive washrooms, the message usually urges me to insert one part of myself into another part of myself.


Clean. The Spice Girls poster begets unclean thoughts, though.  Especially the blonde one at the top; what was her name again? Burpy or Snooky… something like that.


TV, video jukebox, coin-op pool table, tales of east-end urban legends.


Innovative Inebriation Control

Owner is participating in an experimental municipal pilot project that provides bars with blue strips to help bartenders identify drinkers who have been “cut-off” for the evening.

Meal on the Go

Instant dinner and dessert.

  1. Chips 2. Instant noodles 3. Peanuts 4. Pickled eggs 5. Meat patties. We’re good. All five food groups accounted for.

A chance to win a Canadian Club billiard table:

A very small chance, that is.  They aren’t sure when they’ll have the big draw, but they’ve been collecting ballots since 1997. Good luck to you.

Rare Soda Pop Collectible:

Ultra-rare Rainbow Crush Cooler. Like many things at dive bars, including some people, it could be for sale at the right price.

Suggested musical accompaniment:

“Cocaine” by Eric Clapton

The Last Call:

Dive Bar Mike recommends this bar for soda pop collectors, Narcos fans, pool sharks, and struggling binge drinkers.


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