Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bow & Arrow Joins the Deadpool

Pint glass from a past Bow & Arrow fundraiser

This may seem like an odd post, but there is a connection to the Don. The Bow & Arrow pub, one of my favourite haunts near Yonge and Davisville has closed. There is a sign in the window "Closed for Renovations" but from comments I've heard, and the notice on the pub's website the situation is more dire than that. The Bow was a past supporter of some Don River groups. They raised money through charity dinners for Friends of the Don East and more recently the Taylor-Massey Project.

When I heard about it I was somewhat chagrined but not altogether surprised. When I started going about 10 years ago I found that the pub had the idea of marrying good food with good beer. They had an excellent chef (the bison burger was amazing!) and poured about 20 local microbrews, everything from Steamwhistle Pilsner to Maclean's Pale Ale.

Then about 2003, the two co-owners split and the remaining owner cut costs on food. The good chef left and the quality of the kitchen declined. The pub had an upstairs room that was rarely used and the place was starting to get a dingy look as it hadn't been renovated for quite some time. The writing was on the wall, apparently.

I scouted around the net for some information about the closing and came across a chat forum at One comment is quite telling:
The Bow isn't closed for renovations, it's closed because of tax problems, frozen credit, and the fact their entire staff walked out because they weren't being paid. It will take an unlikely major rescue by the Neighborhood Pub Group to revive it.
So that seems to be that. A new pub might reopen in the same location but there is no telling if it will have the same format as before. This is too bad because the pub is in a convenient location to go to after exiting from either the Yellow Creek or Mud Creek ravines. It looks like I shall have to find another place to go to at the end of my Don Valley hikes.

N.B. The "deadpool" is a term I've taken from BlogTO which has recently started a forum listing restaurants that have closed down.

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