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Everyone has a watering-hole. From neighbourhood pubs to speakeasy cocktail bars to unassuming dives -- Toronto is not short of options, but with sweeping closures across the city, one may ask, what is the future of Toronto bars?
Widespread, small businesses are feeling the brunt of social distancing. Restaurants have taken it upon themselves to close their doors in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Luckily, a good portion of restaurants have a plan B.
Takeout, delivery and the multitude of delivery apps are now hosting an influx of new restaurants looking to still serve customers. For the time being, we can still get a wedge salad from Aloette or a pepperoni pie from Maker Pizza; but what about a stiff old fashion from the Library Bar or a Lavender Hound from Cocktail Bar?
Sitting at a dimly lit bar and receiving a masterfully mixed cocktail is, unfortunately, just not an option right now, but Mother Cocktail Bar has a solution. The Queen West haunt is partnering up with Ration Food Lab, chefs, bartenders and local farms to provide high-quality pantry boxes that can be delivered to your house or picked up at Mother Cocktail Bar.
The initiative is resourceful as establishments try to navigate these turbulent times, but one cannot forget Toronto's many beloved cocktail bars that have hosted us throughout the years. Our favourite establishments saw us through it all: awkward first dates, nostalgic reunions with long-lost friends and celebrating life's wins -- big and small.
As all of us grapple with a sentence to our couch for the unforeseeable future, what does a Friday night look like? Call this a modern-day Prohibition, we all have a drink of choice. Cocktail making skills will most definitely range from person to person. Perhaps a gin and tonic or a whisky neat is within your reach? The classics will suffice for now, but I can guarantee that in a week or so I will be hankering for a creative concoction shaken up with orgeat and star anise syrup or patchouli syrup and cacao bitters. Who knows, maybe our recipe section might start being populated with your favourite Toronto libations...
We must ask if other Toronto bars will follow in Mother's footsteps or if there are other means to accomplish takeout or delivery drinks. We know our neighbours south of the border have devised quite a few creative solutions to unprecedented restrictions.
Thrillist took to the streets of New York City to report on how local bars are dealing with the closures.
Dante NYC turns to cocktails-to-go.
An undisclosed East Village speakeasy is selling growlers to-go.
Nothing quite magnificent as takeaway cocktails have hit the streets of Toronto yet, but who knows what we are bound to see.