From a Real Jerk to a Real Craic
The Real Jerk may have vacated the property, but since the beginning of this month the space at Queen and Broadview has come alive again.
It is possibly one of the worst looking, least authentic Irish pubs in Toronto. But the truth is, it's doesn't get more real than this.
Housed in an old bank building at the southeast corner, the An Sibin Pub and Ceili House was packed to the gills last Saturday night with rambunctious and well-lubricated recent Irish arrivals to Toronto.
Odds are, you've heard more and more Irish accents around town – on the street, in restaurants and on the TTC. They've come to Toronto to work, so of course they need a place to drink. And drink they did. Along with singing, dancing and embracing each other. Never have I seen a crowd of bar patrons in this city so caught up in the moment. The difference is that this is their music in our city.
A young man approaches our table. He tries to persuade me to hire him as a personal trainer. He’s in the Irish Army – he can teach me boxing, he says. He demonstrates his punching prowess with several quick jabs to my midsection – treating my ribcage as if it was a speed bag. I suppose he didn't realize those jabs hurt. I had downed a few drinks, but Irish lager didn't adequately dull the pain.
Upon closer inspection of the new establishment, it appears the place has got a lot of things right. The beer draft beer selection consists of a good choice of Irish brews and local Ontario draft. The top of the bar is lined with dozens of bottles of brown liquor.
The night came to an end with nearly every fir and mna in the room belting out Leaving on a Jet Plane along with the live band. It couldn't have been more appropriate. Toronto is now their home, and most don't know when they'll ever be back in Ireland again.