Restaurants & Bars 13

McGugan's - Scottish pub at Gerrard and Jones

Julie McCoy | Feb 26, 201204:03 PM

I do hope this place can work. There are friendly, earnest people working there and its a great addition to this part of Gerrard. I know new places need time to find their groove, but there are some things that need to be tweaked to get it on my Leslieville rotation.
The music needs a serious re-think. Soft-rock of the mushiest kind, and rather loud. Most pubs don't need music at all, letting the ambient conversation and clink of glasses serve as soundtrack. If music is a must, let it be quieter and less suited to the elevator.
The lighting needs to be adjusted as well - it's too bright, especially in the back dining room. A cozier atmosphere could be had by either lower wattage bulbs or turning some of them off. My favourite Scottish pubs are all about the cozy. The back room isn't somewhere I want to linger - I don't feel encouraged to rest a while... The front room/bar area has all back-less stools which again, don't encourage me to hang out. They're just not that comfortable.
Couple of menu comments: draught beers are not all served as pints. Innis and Gunn is not a pint and I just think they should point that out on the menu. I would also ask to add 2 more wines to each of the whites and reds; 3 just doesn't seem enough.
Don't be afraid of the haggis! There's a (very) small appetizer of deep fried haggis on a delicious single malt aioli. The small size of the haggis balls do mean that a bite tastes mostly of fried and aioli - not so much of haggis. Good haggis is delicious, and we should get the chance to taste it. Why not offer a choice between the fried version and the traditional version or have some of each on the one plate?
Generally, I also find the price points a little high in comparison to other locals like The Roy or Ceili Cottage, but perhaps I wouldn't notice so much if I was more comfortable...

1058 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 3A3, CA

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