By: Brian Towie/Toronto Star
BRIAN TOWIE / TORONTO STAR By: Brian Towie , Published on Wed May 01 2013 Shakey’s 2255 Bloor St. W. (at Runnymede) 11:30 a.m.- 2 a.m. seven days a week 416-767-0608 Shakeys.ca; @ShakeysTO Never mind the Habs or the Bruins, nobody bags on the Toronto Maple Leafs quite as well as their own fans. And they’ve had good reason to grouse after nearly a decade in the playoff-deprived wilderness. But this season tells a different story. Though most expect a one-and-done against the Boston Bruins, the Buds did at last make the playoffs, and that deserves the respect and support of Leafs Nation. What’s right is right. Shakey’s is an ideal spot to get your Blue-and-White mojo going, however long or briefly it may last. The cosy Bloor West Village sports bar is by no means as vast as Real Sports or Wayne Gretzky’s, but it boasts real Maple Leafs pedigree. It was opened in the early 1990s by Mike “Shakey” Walton, a native of Kirkland Lake, Ont., and member of the 1967 Stanley Cup-winning Leafs (the last roster to do so, but you knew that). Now the bar is in the hands of brothers Rob and Chris Lundy, two Etobicoke natives who expect lineups outside the door of the cosy 56-seat space during the playoffs, thanks to 12 taps and a jazzed-up, locavore-friendly food menu. The Vibe: Take a trip back to the Maple Leafs’ glory days here: black-and-white stills from the 1967 Stanley Cup victory parade dominate the wall across the bar. As you walk in, see a picture of Shakey himself (No. 16), hashing it out with Gordie Howe during the 1967-68 season All-Star Game at Maple Leaf Gardens. Over in the corner by a Boston Bruins photo (Shakey also played for Beantown, by the way), find “Two Blue” Wally Kuchelema, a 60-year resident of Bloor West Village, who got the name because he always ordered two Labatt Blues back when it was served in 12-oz. glasses. The pub’s longest-serving patron, “Two Blue,” who painted the bar, has his own small plaque over his corner and knows Walton personally. He may even regale you with a Shakey tale if you buy him a beer (or two). Downstairs, you’ll find the memorabilia masterpiece: four seats from the golds at the Gardens. The Drinks: Maybe it’s a nod to King Clancy or the old Toronto St. Pats, but Chris Lundy taps Guinness at one of Shakey’s top-selling draughts at $7.75 before tax. Pints range from $5 (Shakey’s house lager) to around $6.75 for Moosehead. There are crafts here, too, along with the big brands, such as Hop City’s 8th Sin, Barking Squirrel and McAuslan Cream Ale. Mixed drinks include the Caesar with green beans pickled in-house, $8 for a single (1 oz. of vodka) or $10 for a “Weekend Double” (2 oz vodka, available any day of the week.) The food: A true B’Leafer, chef Chris Lundy predicts the Leafs will finish Boston in five games. Stranger things have happened, though patrons will laud him for his acumen in the kitchen rather than as a hockey Cassandra. Formerly of Toronto’s Crush Wine Bar, among other establishments in Vancouver and Montreal, Lundy revamped the menu to include neighbourhood suppliers such as Rowe Farms and Cobs Bread. Big sellers include the burger, ground with salt-and-pepper, with choice of fries, salad or soup ($12 before tax), and suicide wings ($14 for 10, being a pound and a bit, or $22 for 20, 2 lbs. and a bit with in-house pickled carrots). Shakey’s will also do pork sliders toward the end of The Grid’s Burger Week, going May 29- June 2. Ribs go on special every Monday and fish every Friday, though check the Twitter feed for daily specials. Dress Code: Blue and white clothing welcome, obviously. Otherwise, as you are.