Taps: 10 / Bottles: 17
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 2
3.63/5 rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
EDIT - JUNE 2011: now has 7 craft taps, with Flying Monkeys, Mill Street, and Grand River beers getting regular rotation. LCBO seasonals comprise the bottle list. The bar is also showcasing the Welly One-Off Series - so far the cask IPA and Blueberry Cedar Bitter have made their London debuts here. Regular hours (4pm-2am) have returned from Wednesday to Sunday.
Fans of the old Alex P. Keaton fondly recall its penchant for quirky live music shows, tasty and eccentric bar food, and kick ass beers and mix drinks. Thankfully, only a year and a half after the bar's March 2009 closing, it's back in full swing at a new and larger location on Wellington Street, beside Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club.
Now called APK Live, the resurgent gastro-pub aims to function as one of the city's only independent live music venues - an incubator for local and regional performers and a place to showcase artwork of all kinds. But it also offers an extensive beer menu, which is why beer geeks like myself have anxiously awaited the bar's return.
Atmosphere is modern hipster dive bar, with wooden classroom-style chairs at four-seater tables that sport retro DJ collages beneath their clear glass surfaces. Turntables sit on a rainbow-lit stage beside a huge dance floor. Adjacent to this is a row of booths while the stand-only bar is located toward the back of the interior. We grabbed a booth where quiet conversation can be had until 10:30pm. After that the music starts blaring and you have to talk loudly if you want to be heard.
Service is great as we had our friend Jennifer wait on our table. Everything arrived promptly and we got to chat with manager Matt Sang and owner Marc Gammal for a few minutes. Both of these guys are super friendly and, in keeping with the community-oriented ethos of the APK, they always remember names and faces.
Beer selection is currently 5 taps and 10 bottles, but I'm told by the bartender and beer sommelier that this will expand to 10 taps and 24 bottles of mostly craft brands by next month. Right now they have Flying Monkeys Netherworld and Hoptical Illusion, Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, and Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. Bottles are Duvel, Schneider Weisse, St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat, Robert Simpson Confederation Amber, Steam Whistle, Hopfen Weisse, Aventinus, and Labatt 50. I ran through all of the taps and enjoyed some Apricot and Duvel as well.
The food is snacky pub grub with a twist, including beer battered fried pickles, maple and bacon almonds glazed in beer, and fresh cut fries with a spicy mayo/aioli dipping sauce. All of us thought the nuts and fries were delicious.
Overall, I will happily return to the APK whenever I feel like some reasonably priced beer and bar food. At the time of our visit they were charging $5 cover for entry, but I'm assuming this might change if they start opening for dinner (which apparently is in the cards). Once again Marc and Matt are offering something different to London, a place where scenesters and beer geeks alike can grab a pint, try some unique cuisine, and dance their faces off if they feel so inclined.
06-09-2011 20:14:05 | More by cratez
3.55/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
A re-incarnation of the old APK. This version boasts a dim basement bar with candlelit tables. The theme here is whimsical retro meets modern casual dining, all the while hosting a lenghty bar,stage, and a good sized dance floor. Many types of acts perform here as well. Pay a cover to get in or you are a no go. Service is excellent, and the staff is trained on beer/food pairings. The 6 taps include 5 micros. I've seen Delerium Tremens, SMashbomb, and Mcauslan Oatmeal Stout to name a few. Bottles are high end imports and local micros. The food menu is small but interesting. I've had the beer roasted almonds with bacon and they were tasty. Being mostly a concert venue, I won't go here too often, but I will certainly return from time to time when I am in the immediate area.
02-09-2011 11:52:22 | More by mrmanning
APK Live in London, ON, Canada
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.