Three Dozen Thoughts

C’est What recently celebrated the completion of thirty-six years in business. So, it seems appropriate to take a moment to consider what C’est What means to those on both sides of the bar.

The View From Behind The Bar

A little reflection on our unique basement bar from one of our long term staff members:

A corporate landscape grows stifling; sanitization of surface, a deep scrub of the mind. Regimented personality, cookie cutter conversation. All the bland sadism of big pharma done up in a steakhouse dress. Gross.

But within the hallowed stone bunker of C’est What character flourishes. Charm comes in spades, and attitude by the pint. True, your greatest strength can also be your weakness and the ying’yang dance of C’est What’s existence embodies true duality from the products to the people. Loud, obnoxious, unkempt and crumbly. Relaxed, revamped, comfortable and cozy.

None of us are really just one thing in this life and thus C’est What, an extension of many lives, can only be a great many things. Dancing from waiter to bartender. To be the soothing suave wine dispenser for a cuddly night by the fire. Switching feet  and being the concerned face of a libation-matron keeping the gruff banking-boys shooting pool at a reasonable decibel level.

We are “this” and “that”, both the “here” and “there”, and ultimately a windowless rest spot for whatever you are, whenever you are. For in a concrete playground where sunlight holds no bearing the time stands still and your company or your thoughts resonate that much stronger.

The View From The Bar Stool

Some thoughts from one of our guests, who has spent decades observing the action from his perch at the end of the bar:

C’est What, located in the basement of an historic building in Toronto, has been a favourite spot for me for over three decades. One of the main reasons I love this bar is its status as Toronto’s first micro-brew bar, which drew me in many years ago. The high-quality, craft beers have kept me coming back, and I have developed a deep appreciation for the friendly environment and the reasonable prices. Over the years, I have formed lasting friendships with the staff, adding to the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the bar.

C’est What’s long-standing presence as Toronto’s “granddaddy of craft beer bars” is a testament to its commitment to high-quality beers and its role in fostering the Ontario craft beer scene. The bar’s association with County Durham Brewing, one of the original craft beer breweries in Toronto, further enhances its significance in the local craft beer community. Additionally, the bar’s diverse beer selection, which includes 42 Canadian craft draughts, has always provided me with a wide array of options to choose from.

The combination of history, quality, and community at C’est What has made it a cherished place for me over the years. The bar’s unique location, delicious food, and, most importantly, its role as a hub for the local craft beer community have all contributed to my enduring fondness for this establishment.