Sun & suds make for patio perfection

Warm weather is here and so is patio season. Postscript presents a sampling of Kingston’s outdoor eateries

The Brew Pub boasts two patios: this one on Clarence St, and a back courtyard terrace.
The Brew Pub boasts two patios: this one on Clarence St, and a back courtyard terrace.
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Amadeus’ back garden patio evokes the feeling of geniune German biergartens.
Amadeus’ back garden patio evokes the feeling of geniune German biergartens.
Photo: 

Best Food

The Kingston Brewing Company’s patio is easily one of the most delicious outdoor eating experiences the city has to offer. Located in the heart of downtown, the Brew Pub offers an extensive menu with an eclectic selection of daily specials ranging from curries and pastas to heartier fare such as steaks. Coupled with the KBC’s choice of beers specially made at their very own brewery, the Brew Pub makes for an excellent patio to enjoy a pint and a meal with friends.

The Brew Pub’s patio is located within a courtyard off Clarence Street, behind the pub itself. The patio offers ample space, but as a local favourite, it’s probably best to savor the experience during non-peak hours. In addition, tables seat about four to six people, so larger groups may have to head inside to be accommodated.

If you’re more of a people-watching patio-goer, the Brew Pub’s Clarence St. deck patio is for you. With views down to the busy Ontario Street, you can enjoy a signature beer or cider to your curiosity’s content.

One of the Brew Pub’s greatest strengths is the care it puts into each dish. Its menu can best be described as traditional pub fare, but it is treated with a level of attention not usually seen in “pub grub.” For example, their chicken wings, rather than being deep fried and slathered in generic barbeque sauce, are carefully marinated and oven roasted using their own blend of spices.

With a wide variety of food and unique takes on classic fare, the Brew Pub’s enclosed courtyard patio allows one to indulge in a tasty meal while escaping the bustle of downtown Kingston.

—Matt Rushworth

Most Likely to Inspire a Polka

The Amadeus Schnitzel Haus is a long restaurant, but if you manage to make it all the way to the back, you’ll be well rewarded.

The Amadeus patio has a little bit for everyone, with a half-roof, table with umbrellas and multiple levels. Surrounded by ivy-covered walls and a jovial (and lederhosen filled) mural, you almost get the feeling you’re in a proper biergarten and not just off Princess St. A couple of generously poured pints help with the illusion.

Served in heavy glass tankards, Amadeus has a great selection of beers, many of which you can’t get at other Kingston establishments.

And if you’re looking for a little something to go along with that beer, the selection of schnitzel, sausage and other European menu items such as Hungarian goulasch and chicken paprikasch is sure to tempt you.

The seclusion of the patio and the “exotic” cuisine make Amadeus a great casual date choice. Plus, if your date is game, you can make the most of the bouncy, polka-esque music and get him or her to dance with you.

The beer might might help you with that too.

—Angela Hickman

Best Getaway

You could say that the Toucan is a microcosm of Kingston itself—- students, families, barflies and even seniors can all be found within the quaintly decorated walls to share in laughs, reasonably priced food and of course, a cold pint of beer. But in the summer, when propriety requires the consumption of beer outdoors, the Toucan offers a refreshing patio with the unlikely and much-appreciated benefit of great service.

First off, it is important to mention that one should not go to the Toucan’s patio to bask in the sun. Instead, the Toucan’s patio is located within Rochleau Court, the alleyway that connects Princess Street to both Brock and King. The patio is always shaded and cool, augmented by the pleasant breeze which travels through the court. Coupled with 18 domestic, premium and import beers on tap, the Toucan is guaranteed to refresh and satisfy the thirstiest of travellers.

In terms of space, the Toucan has a moderately sized patio, with its main strengths including the nature of its seating and the benefit of boasting the highest server-traffic area available in the summer.

With bench-style seating running the entire length of the patio, it is possible to reconfigure tables and seating arrangements to custom-create a dining area for large groups, something often impossible with the traditionally round patio tables.

In addition, the patio sits right outside the steps of the kitchen, which is located on the second floor of the building, so another pour is only a (polite) shout away. All things considered, the Toucan’s patio is the ideal shaded getaway at which to enjoy cold beer and good friends.

—Matt Rushworth

Most Likely to Score

If you are looking to dig, set and spike with frequent drink breaks this summer, head over to Philthy McNasty’s on Princess at University for some down-and dirty fun in the sand and sun. The popular chain offers a unique athletic experience for the agile and enthusiastic patio-seeker.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to bask in the sun during the day or play around at night, the patio and beach volleyball pit at Philthy’s is sure to please both the experienced athlete and casual beach bum alike.

Philthy McNasty’s offers a moderately priced menu of classic bar food and a limited yet classic list of draughts. If you’re looking for microbrewery beer or topshelf liquor, you won’t find it here, but that’s alrigh —Canadian is the only thing fit to drink with suicide wings.

Luckily for sport and wing enthusiasts, lines are non-issues on weekdays or weekends before 10. And although Philthy McNasty’s is a popular destination, the spacious patio ensures enough space for everyone and their beverages.

The informal and youthful atmosphere, as well as the large amount of outdoor space, is ideal for large groups. After a long day at work or following a weekend outing, grab a few friends and nab an empty volleyball court. The only necessary advice: while taking in a heated game, be sure to watch your drink. You don’t want to leave with a Philthy shirt!

—Laura Wilson

Best Place for People-Watching

The Merchant MacLiam is the epitome of the outdoor bar scene in this town.

Enjoy the breeze off the lake as you take a seat in one of the green plastic chairs inside the wrought iron fence.

Tucked away at the bottom of Ontario Street, the pairing of the classic limestone of the Merchant with the Holiday Inn next door adds the quirky charm. During peak tourist season, it makes for a reasonably steady parade of forlorn-looking visitors to observe.

The sultry strains of Emily Fennel or the more hard-rocking, scullet-sporting Trevor Walsh waft out the back door, providing a pleasant but not overwhelming soundtrack to your evening.

This place cooks up the best garlic cheese bread around (fresh bread wedges, just enough bubbling melted cheese for full coverage and no residual sogginess) and nothing hits the spot faster after a hard day’s work or a hard-fought baseball game. Wash it all down with a selection from the long list of beers on tap. If the Merchant hasn’t got it, it isn’t worth drinking. Just don’t ask the server’s to recite them all. You’ll be listening till last call.

If you can make it out on a weekday, treat yourself to a $3 drink any Tuesday. Careful, though. No one likes a Wednesday morning hangover.

—Erin Flegg

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