Our little village consists of 3 subway stops along Bloor Street; we have so many pubs, Thai and Japanese restaurants that the last thing you would think we needed was another pub. And then Kennedy Public House revently opened. It’s actually a reinvention of Sharky’s which was more of a club-like restaurant that occupied the same space for several years. Kennedy Public house sits on the corner of Kennedy and Bloor and the Kennedy side has a great patio (for warmer days, of course).
I personally think that this has the loveliest décor of all the pubs in our village — rustic industrial. All the tables are thick, reclaimed wood and the bar stools are flat stainless steel. The lights are a contemporary rendition of old-fashioned rusty forged metal chandeliers and the hanging caged blubs at the bar are the old fashioned filament bulbs (which I think are so darn cool and are so in style right now!). There are long communal tables and there are private booths; there are dark wood floors. They have some super cool sepia toned old photos of the area covering a couple of walls. It’s a very inviting and comfortable atmosphere. The only thing I would change is I would remove the long row of televisions over the bar along one wall other than that, it’s really quite wonderful.
On a Friday, without reservations, we tried to get in for dinner around 7:30 — there was a 20 minute wait (I don’t wait for restaurants!) so we went next door to an old favourite. After a morning of successful Christmas shopping I met JT there for lunch on a Saturday. We were seated right away and they brought our beers (Guinness). Unfortunately, there was a large group (more than 20) who had placed their orders just before we did and so our lunch took a lot longer than it should have. We shared the PBP Pizza (Pear, blue cheese, pecans, asiago, fresh thyme, caramelized onion, pickled onion) for $14. The combo should have been a home run, but the crust didn’t do it for me; I prefer a wafer thin, crispy crust and this one was more like naan, thicker and chewier. The pear was a little crispy, and there was not much blue cheese flavour for my taste. I also found the pickled onions were a bit odd. We won’t discount the place on this single experience, we will surely be back for more but I won’t be having the pizza. The service was good.
First visit overall rating (in my opinion): Decor 4/5, service 3.5/5, food 2/5, Value 3.5/5, Noise: 3/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet). The restaurant was not packed, even though there was one large group, I would imagine it gets pretty loud at night. We’ll go back a few more times to get an accurate rating.
Disclaimer: We purchased our meal for full price and my opinions just that, my opinions.
December 15: we were able to get into Kennedy Public House on Thursday night around 7:30; the atmosphere was lively with an eclectic group of people, diverse ages and ethnicity (think LES in Manhattan). We were seated right away near the back (most of the tables were taken). Almost as soon as we sat down someone turned on the hand dryer in the washroom (guessing it was about 15-20 meters from where we were sitting) and it was like a jet engine had started up beside us. We asked to be moved and were reseated within minutes! Our new table was a high bar table, but quite comfortable. We recognized our waitress from Sharky’s days and chatted about the new place. Apparently we were not the only one’s to complain about the hand dryer noise; she said she thought that they would soon be replaced!
We each ordered our wine which came out incredibly fast. For dinner we only had appetizer portions: JT ordered the pulled pork sliders (3 for $11) DELICIOUS! The soft egg buns are made by Cobbs Bread, a local bakery. The pulled pork was in a bit of a sauce but it wasn’t too sweet, it came with a cole slaw that was nothing special. I ordered the Goats Cheese Niçoisse ($12) which was a lemon scented goats cheese roll wrapped in phyllo and baked. It was beautifully presented on a bed of arugula and spinach greens, fingerling white and purple potatoes, steamed green and yellow beans, tomatoes, black olives and a quartered hard boiled egg. It was dressed with an olive oil lemon vinaigrette. DELICIOUS! My only complaint would be that the greens were dressed a little heavily, but that’s a personal preference. I would definitely have both again!
Although the place was packed, service was very good.
Second visit overall rating (in my opinion): Decor 4/5, service 3.5/5, food 4/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 2/5 (j1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet). The evening crowd was very loud!