Michael Baily already owns a number of eateries and shops in the north end of the city:
- North Restaurant in Thornhill since 1999
- Gilaneh Restaurant, open for six years now
- A supermarket at Leslie and York Mills, open for six years now
- Persian takeout eatery North Express, which opened in 2014
- Richmond Hill’s Tandis Fine Food, which debuted last year
“I always wanted to do a pub,” he says. “Food is my experience for the last 25 years. I had an idea I can do better than most pubs.” So he opened Thornhill Pub this summer.
The difference, Baily says, is fresh product including meat, steak and chicken for fajitas, fresh halibut in the fish and chips, and chicken wings never housed in the freezer. He also grinds his own meat for the homemade burger. “I’m not a chef,” he says, “I know a lot about food.”
While the mammoth menu includes classic pub fare such as Potato Skins ($8.99) and Bangers and Mash ($9.99), Persian influences can be seen throughout the menu – kebobs as a main, kebob mix for the burger, and the fajitas get the same marinade and meat as kebobs. “I do the best Persian food. I have all the market for Persian food,” Baily says.
Drinks also include Persian specialties. While daily specials ($10.99/$8.99 during happy hour from 5 to 7 pm) feature classics such as Moscow Mule, you’ll find Sekanjabin, one of the oldest drinks in Iran, made with cucumber, honey, vinegar and mint. In addition to cocktails, there’s domestic, import and premium brews, as well as wines available by the glass and bottle.
The design and decor, however, is 100 per cent traditional. The heritage building built in 1835 came with thick wood beams, which fit right into the pub look and feel. You’d never know it was a former Mac’s Milk variety store, thanks to the authentic look and feel échelle Interior Design Studio created.
Those brick arches look like they came with the joint. Same goes for those double decker red banquettes. And portraits of austere queens and kings, posted near the back on rich tapestry wallpaper, look straight out of Victorian times. Dark wood columns trimmed in wrought iron and Edison bulb chandeliers complete the public house feel.
And with the warm weather continuing for the next few weeks, there’s still time to enjoy the expansive patio lined with flowers.
Thornhill Pub, located at the corner of Yonge and Centre Street (7756 Yonge St.), accommodates 96 guests inside with room for 40 on the patio for lunch, dinner and drinks.
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