My fascination with this place goes back to high school when I got invited to a show here by a band in town from Montreal. Unknown to them, I was WAY underage and it was most certainly past my curfew on a school night. Not to say this place is an underage hotbed, it certainly isn’t, but it was one of my first nights out, so The Horsehoe Tavern always brings back memories when I stop by… Some of the bartenders are even still working there, some 15 years later.
The Horseshoe has been around for almost 70 years and they certainly have figured out how to do a no-frills, down and dirty concert venue right. They have live music almost every night and are involved in a slew of Toronto music festivals. (NXNE is in June) By the end of the night, the gregarious people of all stripes leave no doubt they’ve been having a good time.
There’s a front section that has no cover fee if you just feel like stopping by for a drink; concerts happen in the back. You can usually buy tickets when you get there. An almost too conveniently-placed take-out window to the burger joint next door dispels any argument that this place rocks (and rolls…)