The Bow & Arrow

The Bow & ArrowThe Bow & Arrow
8 Ratings
The Bow & ArrowThe Bow & Arrow

Type: Bar, Eatery

1954 Yonge St
Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1Z4

(416) 487-2036

// CLOSED //

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by Tut:
Photo of Tut
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

4/7/09 The Bow & Arrow closed in mid Feb./'09 due to tax problems, frozen credit and the resulting staff walkout.

When I first discovered the Bow & Arrow in 1997 I considered it the overall finest North American pub I'd been in. The beer selection, food and especially the staff was superb. All patrons and staff were part of the Bow family. When Sandy MacIntyre's fantastic Cape Breton/ celtic band played on Sundays, with blazing fiddling and step dancing, the total pub experience was as good as it gets.

Things have changed considerably at the Bow over the last six years. The managing partner who tended the beer with care and skill was ousted in a coup in '03 and things are different now. The Bow continues to be a good beer bar but it has lost some of the characteristics that made it such a great pub. Alot of the "specialness" left with the ousted partner, Keiron Meaney. I still go there to hear Sandy MacIntyre's band Sunday afternoons and it remains a great experience but I no longer feel like part of a family. It's now merely another Toronto pub I enjoy -- which still says alot. The real ales aren't being kept as well and I can't recommend them any longer. I haven't had what I consider a good one there in several years. They still have plenty of good regular microbrews to choose from. A huge big screen tv in a rear corner now detracts from the overall atmosphere. Times change and so do pubs, but I really miss the way the Bow & Arrow used to be. Do check out the Sun. p.m. music sessions with Sandy though. You'll see some of the best fiddling you'll ever encounter! Every Sun. from 4-8pm, late Sept. through mid June. Get there early if you want a good seat

 1,684 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerguzzlerxyz
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ended up with a free night while on business in Toronto and found this place through this site.

Considering I was just looking for a place to grab a few good beers and a comforatble meal, this place hit the mark perfectly. It's not too far from downtown and I was able to park down a side street relatively close to the bar (it was Monday).

The bar hosts 24 taps of which 13 were active during my visit. I settled on a Denison Weiss beer which hit the spot perfectly. I was looking for a comfortable place to kick back with good beers and resonable prices and I found it!

For my second round, I was eying the KLB Raspberry Wheat but I wasn't sure since very few can execute a succesful raspberry wheat beer. The bartender had no problem with providing me a sample to the brew so I could make my decision. Nevertheless, I ended up with the Denison's again, don't mess with a winner.

The only food I tried was the fish and chips which was a good sized portion along with the flavorful malt vinegar. It hit the spot, and along with the beer, I was extremely satisfied. The overall tab was very reasonable, especially for being so close to downtown.

If you have the chance and are looking for a comfortable spot to hang your hat while in Toronto, stop in here!


 1,270 characters

Photo of bobsy
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

To me, the Bow and Arrow is a bar that is full of promise that is never fully followed through. The interior is that fake old English bar crap that may be endearing to people who aren't from England, but to me just seems ridiculously fake. I prefer North American bars to follow their own path in decor not to imitate England lite. The good news, though, is a wide selection of Ontario and Quebec (St. Ambroise) microbrews. I counted 20 on the chalkboard. They also have three beer engines to dispense cask conditioned beer, but unfortunately it seems that they are almost always out of at least one of these brews. The condition of the beer is also hit and miss. Service is spotty and erratic, with huge delays. I don't like it when I give someone my visa and they disappear for 10 minutes. The food is standard pub fare, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, which is commendable. Pricing seems standard for the city.

It really seems to have gotten a lot worse over time, which is too bad. I have fond memories of this place.

 1,039 characters

Photo of slyke
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

We stopped into the Bow & Arrow for lunch on a Friday and found it about half empty. The single waiter on duty did a good job of covering the 10 or so occupied tables.

The beer selection concentrated on Canadian beers. I had the Black Oak Pale Ale on cask with a Peameal Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato. They made for a satisfying lunch on a rainy spring day in Toronto.

Bow and Arrow proved to be a good choice for lunch and is easy to get to on Yonge Street about a block north the of the Davisville subway stop. Worth a try.

 522 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

It was a lovely ride north on the Yonge Street subway, exiting at Davisville Station, that got me here. There was a nifty Old World façade to the place, with a short patio out front. Entering, I was at the foot of a flight of stairs, leading upwards to The Party Room (don’t ask – I didn’t) at a left oblique. There were restaurant booths to the right, but I bypassed them, passed the washrooms to the left, and found myself ensconced at the bar.

“Ooh boy!” I thought, seeing that there were three (3) casks advertised – MacLean’s Pale Ale, XXX IPA, and Arkell Best Bitter. ALL OFF! 8=( F**ksake! 8={} (gnashing of teeth). Regrouping, the choice was Saint Ambrose Pale Ale.

The bar was a short, “U”-shaped affair about midway into the space, headed aft. Wood and green marble were the theme and the kitchen loomed to the left. Along each wall were booths with mirrors; framed prints; and blackboards, detailing “Specials”, “Today’s Specials”, and “Brews on Tap”. Continuing aft were more restaurant tables and out back, a biergarten (!).

Having gotten permission to go upstairs and “have a gander”, I discovered not only a separate bar with a great collection of spent bottles above it, but also a Plexiglas window overlooking the bar below, cordoned off by a wood and brass railing; and, best of all, an Irish fiddle band practicing for an upcoming gig. Yow! Ok, who wants to drag me back to the States?

 1,435 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.45/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Neat looking building from the outside, old school. Inside is very old British pub atmosphere, square bar near kitchen with the taps arranged around and three cask taps in the middle. TV's around, boards with specials, beer lists etc. The tap list was impressive, I think they had 25 plus or minus a few, including three casks. Menu was different, lots of neat stuff on there, I really had a difficult time deciding, so settled on a roast red pepper and garlic mayonnaise bison burger, was excellent. Good hot wings as well. Service was quick and friendly, knew about their products. Excellent place, I'll be going there again, little on the pricey side but I'm a student so that might be why.

 693 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is another pub in the "Arrow Neighbourhood Pub Group" (the Woolwich Arms in Guelph is another) and it didn't disappoint. The atmosphere was very laid back and the waitstaff was quite friendly. The centrepiece seems to be the bar, which stands in the middle of the main room. It looks great with all the taps spread out around it and three hand pumps in the centre. The seating area is divided into a couple of smaller rooms that, while open to each other, give it a slightly more intimate atmosphere.

Taps were devoted mostly to local micros, with selections from McAuslan, Unibroue, Big Rock and a couple of imports thrown in as well. Roughly 20 taps were running along with 3 casks. Selections were spread out among a large number of brewers, and most had only one or possibly two selections present. Although it was a large tap list, nearly all beers are readily available at other local establishments and nothing really stood out (but finding F&M Macleans Pale Ale cask-conditioned was something of a surprise outside of Guelph).

The menu was very similar to what I remember was offered at the Woolwich Arms. Overall, the food quality was quite good at reasonable prices. Bison chili nachos were both tasty and gigantic, and the burgers were above average (according to my wife). The Montreal smoked meat sandwich was pretty good, but became great when our server brought out both the regular and Dijon St. Ambroise beer mustard.

Quite a nice place to hang out and enjoy dinner and/or a pint. I'll definitly look for another opportunity to stop by some time in the near future.

 1,596 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

A friendly environment, lots of individual thought to a franchise. involved people making their tips. Huge selection of beers, though almost entirely local, and very good food selection at reasonable prices. Very good taps deliver clean taste, however 50% nitro does slice some taste, noticeable on some not most, in order to add creaminess. The theme, of hanging out here instead of your apartment or house, can be met in some respect. Found it physically draughty away from bar, but tables are nicely laid out though the pub isn't huge. Well attended by 25-50 crowd, both men and women. Big UK singing party every Sunday.

 623 characters

The Bow & Arrow in Toronto, ON, Canada
Place rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 8 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.