Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Mingling with the Regulars

Last night found me at The Feather's Pub on Kingston Road in Toronto where I had some pints with Russ Rowlands, owner of Industry SOS who held the Boast and Toast at Rowers Pub back in October.

I have profiled Feather’s before on this site and I absolutely loved the pub. So when Russ decided he was coming my way, I could think of no better place east of the Don Valley to take him.

I was the first to arrive and I sat down along one of the long velvet covered bench seats and waited for Russ and his girlfriend to appear. To my left was an older chap who I recognized from my first visit to the pub, I believe his name was Eric. He was one of the gentlemen I happened to take a picture of. He was there alone, reading the paper and looked quite content. I said hi and we starting chatting about the place and before long Russ and Jen arrived.

It wasn’t long though that Eric was soon joined by another older fellow who arrived alone. He walked up to the table and promptly sat down and started up a conversation. This was the start of a trend that carried on all night.

While Russ and I talked about the new TAPS magazine and his second Boast and Toast, more older men were joining Eric at his once quiet table. It was a great witnessing this. This is exactly what pubs are all about. It seemed like these gentlemen were all part of an extended family who gathered here every night to discuss the current day’s events.

Another man arrived, again, by himself, and pulled up a seat next to Eric, introduced himself to the crowd as if he hadn’t seen them in a while and pulled out a paper. He started talking about an article that was in a local Beaches paper regarding a pub crawl down Queen Street and how it failed to mention Feather’s. He was pretty hot under the collar and all the men took turns discussing his conundrum. I was completely caught up in the moment. Here, six men who had all arrived separately were now all seated around a single table holding complex conversations and enjoying some pints. I provided some TAPS magazines and they dove right into them, letting me know their likes and dislikes. One even remembered the old issues. I quickly changed the subject.

Our server had mentioned that she has worked at Feather’s for years and that these gentlemen show up throughout the week and do the same routine I just mentioned. She knows each one by name, where they live and most importantly: what they drink. There was no need asking them what they wanted, if they wanted something different, they asked. The server stated that it’s like one big comfy living room where there’s no need for a tv, as you’ll get the news straight up from the regulars. I agree.

This is what a pub is for and words don’t really describe it.

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