Joey Downtown Toronto – Eaton Centre

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In the lull between Christmas and New Year’s you can still shop until you drop at many increasingly illogically named Boxing Week/month/year sales or you can do something better. In my case, meet with friends you have not seen in years at Joey’s on Dundas West right near Yonge Street.

If you grew up in Toronto and then moved away, Yonge and Dundas is an alien place. The streets curve in ways they used not to and the whole faux New York Times Square attempt seems forced.

Joey’s as a chain I associate with the west coast as it is part of the Fuller family’s Earl and Cactus Club restaurant collection. It turns out they started in Edmonton, moved to Vancouver, and then started an eastern expansion in 2009.

What made me say wow is that the Joey Eaton Centre at 1 Dundas Street West is spacious in stark contrast to the surrounding area which is cramped-feeling. Their front window allows awesome people-watching as the fast paced downtown Toronto folks sail by. But inside, it feels huge and the seats and bar stools are not hemmed in.

Of course the sight-seeing inside the restaurant/bar is pretty spectacular too as the Joey’s server standards of appearance are being maintained. (The industry term breastaurant can be applied here.)

The bartender, a handsome lad from Winnipeg, knew all the drinks that our group wanted and coordinated excellently with the servers when we moved to a table. The menu is more than burgers and beer, but I had a burger and Chardonnay. The problem is that I was having such a great time catching up with old friends, I hardly noticed the food. I ate it all, so I assume it was good!

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