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Meet the owner

Richard Lambert describes himself as an optimist, "a glass-half-full sort of person." But the pub he co-owns, the Dog & Bear, is anything but a half-full sort of place.

Three years after the Social nightclub ended its seven-year run as one of the hottest spots on Toronto's Queen St. W., its stylish, laid-back successor is "busier than I ever imagined," Richard says. He and the Social's co-owners "could have walked away after it closed, but we decided to dig another hole and go for it. We're glad we did: the Dog & Bear has been extremely successful since it opened in 2012."

It's easy to see why. The expansive yet cozy space greets customers with a fire burning in an ornate hearth. The walls are playfully festooned with Union Jacks, royal portraits and deer antlers. Eight high-definition TVs and a projection screen carry any and all live sports, with the pub becoming "a home for Maple Leafs and Raptors fans," Richard says. Last but not least, there are 20 beers on tap - the widest selection on Queen West - while the menu is an appealing blend of traditional British and Canadian pub fare.

Read the story of Dog And Bear

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Appears in 3 Smart lists

Editor’s Pick
Best Restaurants for Nachos in Toronto

Best Restaurants for Nachos in Toronto

While Dog & Bear offers their signature nachos ($16) along with a veggie version ($14), it’s their Buffalo Chicken Nachos ($16) that are particularly genius: Buffalo chicken, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, cheese and blue cheese, dill pickle, onion, tomato and shredded iceberg lettuce all mingled together with crisp nachos means never having to struggle over whether to order nachos or wings again.

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The best weekend-worthy bars in Parkdale

The best weekend-worthy bars in Parkdale

If the oft lengthy line outside this Parkdale pub didn’t get across its undying cool-guy status, a wander inside the lively interior – hosting everyone from vintage-clad fashionistas to suits hailing from the Financial District – certainly will. Toronto’s pub-seeking population found its paradise at the more-hip-than-your-average-pub Dog and Bear, from the owners of Parts and Labour and The Hoxton. Come for the beer, the vibes, and the company, but arrive early if you want to avoid the weekend line-up.

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Nacho platters in Toronto that you won’t wanna share

Nacho platters in Toronto that you won’t wanna share

You might not expect a traditional British pub to excel at a distinctly Mexican dish, but you’ll be eating your words after you try the buffalo chicken nachos at this Queen West haunt. Crispy tortillas are heaped with fried chicken thighs, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, blue cheese, pickles, onions, tomatoes and iceberg lettuce. The equally adventurous cheesesteak nachos feature steak, American cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions and pickled hot peppers.

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