The Dakota Tavern Turns Three

IMG_4265Last Wednesday night the Dakota Tavern, the little underground music joint which caps our row of great merchants on Ossington turned 3 years old with a party complete with great musicians.

The Dakota is really what Ossington is all about. I would consider it like a metaphor for the street itself – sometimes too commercial (line-ups and bouncers), sometimes too rowdy (yep, there are drunk people coming out), but mostly hip and accessible, and serving some great food. It’s was born like the street itself, bringing life out of an old broken down basement bar, and like the street itself has an uncomfortable but cordial relationship with the Portuguese bar that sits atop and to the south.

For my friends with kids who don’t go out much any more I always suggest the Bluegrass brunch which they serve up on Sunday afternoons. It’s a family style brunch served in front of some great bluegrass musicians, and there are always lots of kids dancing to the morning to mid-afternoon music.

One of the mainstays of The Dakota are The Beauties, who play Sunday nights. It’s a night where musicians come to listen to other musicians, and if you go often enough you might see Fiest, or Ron Sexsmith, or one of a number of talented Canadian musicians take the stage.

Last Wednesday night the audience just this crowd. Talking to a few people in the crowd I don’t think I met anyone who wasn’t a musician.  I couldn’t stay late into the set, but managed to stick around for few songs from Justin Rutledge, another regular at the Dakota.

IMG_4314This month every Tuesday Jason Collette (of Broken Social Scene fame) is doing a Basement Review – a multi-disciplinary variety show with poets, songwriters and great musicians.

Update: Also noticed tonight that the Crooked Star is turning 5 this week. Don’t forget to head over and wish them a happy birthday.