What’s on the menu at Peaches, Parkdale’s new queer-friendly sports bar with bubble hockey

What’s on the menu at Peaches, Parkdale’s new queer-friendly sports bar with bubble hockey

Last name: Fishing sports bar
Contact: 1554 Queen Street West, 416-535-7777, @peachessportsbar
Piece: Parkdale
Previously: Tennessee Tavern
Owners: Veronica Saye and Anthony Fushell
Chief: Bennett Franklyn Jacobs
Accessibility: The entrance is accessible, but the toilets are down a flight of stairs

In many ways Peaches is exactly what you would expect of a sports bar – they have hot dogs, they have pitchers of beer, they have flat screen TVs on every wall. But they also find ways to imbue the genre with something new. “We want to be everything to everyone,” says Saye.

Saye and Fushell see a sports bar as the ultimate community experience – you instantly have something in common with the person next to you – and making it accessible to everyone was important to them. “We’ve said outwardly that we’re a queer-friendly sports bar,” says Saye. “Going to sports bars isn’t always a gay-friendly experience – it can actually be the exact opposite. So for us, it was important to recognize that.

Owners Anthony Fushell (left) and Veronica Saye

The two friends have shared a dream of opening a sports bar since they met in 2013. Earlier this year, Fushell, who worked as a bartender at Bar Poet, called Saye to suggest he get serious. They struggled to find a space at first – they wanted something large, a real gathering place – but all the places available were either too small or too expensive. Then the old Tennessee Tavern space appeared. It was huge, and Saye used to be the director. They knew that was the one. “It was our dream space,” says Saye.

Their welcoming spirit extends to the menu. While Peaches has made thoughtful improvements to classic sports fare, they haven’t abandoned the accessible price. “If you want to come here and drink a cheap Coors Light and eat wings and watch football, that’s what we want to be,” says Saye. “But if you want to come in and have a really good old game and a steak and watch a basketball game, we want to be that too.”

The food

Jacobs, who is a veteran of Chase Hospitality Group restaurants like Arthur’s and Kasa Moto, had a major upgrade in mind. “What I really wanted to convey through our menu is that sports food doesn’t have to be store bought, pre-made stuff,” he says. “Typically in high volume places you kind of lose the sense that the preparation is being polished. I wanted to bring that back by sourcing local ingredients whenever possible and really making the food shine.

Chief Jacobs

The result is a menu of upscale sports bar classics. The three iconic hot dogs are perhaps the most iconic when it comes to sports cooking. But the menu also reflects Peaches’ values ​​in more subtle ways. The wide selection of apps and shares is in line with Fushell and Saye’s desire to create a communal atmosphere, and it includes nachos and wings. Their New York Striploin Steak is done the classic way, except for the cost: While you can find a similar style of steak in the Financial District, says Jacobs, you won’t find this price anywhere else. “We tried to cut our margins as close as possible,” says Jacobs. “We want this menu to be affordable for everyone.”

While brainstorming, the trio envisioned an entirely Cajun-inspired menu. While they ultimately chose to simply focus on the best food for watching sports, that early idea shows up in things like the signature Sporty Spice, a homemade take on a classic Cajun spice blend.

These marinated deviled eggs are a fun and simple twist on a classic snack. They are topped with celery, red peppers, fresh onions and Peaches’ house sports spice. $6
These vegan Mushroom Dingers are oyster mushrooms breaded in gluten-free flour and fried. They’re also house-blended Sporty Spice and served with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for dipping. $14
One of three signature hot dogs on the menu, the Chicago Dog is served on a homemade poppy seed bun and topped with tomato, sweet relish, yellow mustard and house pickles. (While the buns are homemade, the dogs are from Woofdawg Hotdog.) $11
This fancy dish for a sports bar was actually inspired by tailgate parties. For this, the Halal chicken is put in a chilli marinade, cooked sous vide, then glazed with barbecue sauce and finished in the oven. It is topped with a sweet mustard seed compote and a mixed herb garnish. Served with roast potatoes and chimichurri. $24
The NY Strip is a 10-ounce Beverly Creek New York strip loin, and it’s 100% organic, free-range, and grass-fed. It is topped with a mustard seed compote and a classic red wine jus and served with spiced fries. $30
This dessert originated at a time when Jacobs envisioned a completely Cajun menu. The donuts are fried, coated in icing sugar and served with two dipping sauces: a simple caramel sauce and a seasonal fruit purée. $8
The drinks

Peaches inherited the old-school wooden bar, a magnificent antique that the owners of Tennessee Tavern had shipped from a Polish legion in Detroit. The bar came with 12 beers on tap, half of which poured sports bar classics (Coors Lite, Heineken, Guinness) while the rest poured craft beers and more local selections. And, of course, anything can be turned into a pitcher. There are just as many canned and bottled options, from Miller High Life to a PEC-based Matron sour.

Fushell and Saye wanted to add their own twist to the drink offering, hence Peaches’ cocktail menu, a testament to the couple’s combined years of cocktail bar experience. “We just wanted to do simple classics but do them really well,” says Saye. “We also didn’t want to create an intimidating atmosphere by doing things that were over the top.” Their bestseller to date? Long Island Iced Tea.

Eight scoops in the corner pint glass
Peaches Long Island Iced Tea is made with Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Altos Tequila, Havana Club 3 Year Rum, Cointreau, Lime, and Coca-Cola poured over pebbles of ice. Note the baseball bat topped with a baseball bat. $13
Peaches mixes their old fashioned with Evan Williams bourbon, sugar and Angostura bitters – it’s a classic for a reason. $13
Space

Peaches is a campy take on an old-school sports bar, with modern elements, like their bright orange peach logo, balanced by heavy doses of nostalgia. “There are golden eras that we really wanted to address,” says Saye.

An important reference is the 1940s baseball team, the Rockford Peaches, which played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. They are also the subjects of the 1992 film A league apart and the recently released miniseries of the same name. One wall in the dining room features an enlarged photo of the team, and there’s a second downstairs.

Vintage football and baseball bobbleheads share space with liquor bottles on the back bar – these were childhood toys that Saye’s father gave Peaches. These kinds of sports memorabilia abound: faded baseball posters, vintage baseball mitts, a worn locker.

Of course, there are tons of TVs. But Peaches’ games go beyond television: Arcade games, bubble hockey, foosball, and a pool table are scattered throughout the space.

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