12 Pubs of Christmas

The mission: Hit 12 bars in one night.

Where: Throughout Toronto, with a focus on Kensington.

Why? Baby Jesus.

Last year my friend Judith and her pals got to 7 bars. I’m not drawing any conclusions here, but I’d just like to point out that the year I joined we hit all 12. I can honestly say it was one of the proudest “Whererre the fuck ARE weee” moments of my life. Here’s how our night went:

1) Have dinner and beer #1 at House of Gourmet, and try Peking duck for the first time. So delicious!


Waiters seem convinced that we need forks vs chopsticks. We leave with the best omen possible: someone’s fortune cookie reads “You are about to embark on a most delightful journey.”

2) Have a well-rounded discussion at Thirsty and Miserable, including topics such as the Bible and the clitoris.


3) Ask the bartenders at Cold Tea to “surprise me.” Everyone ends up with different variations of Negronis.


4) Visit Ronnie’s Local 069 which, according to our Irish friends, has very Irish-looking wallpaper.



Brought back the Bible discussion, and awkwardly pique the interest of nearby Bible-lovers who then join our conversation.

5) Have a beer at Supermarket, realizing this is the tipping point where we go from pleasantly buzzed to messy.


6) Have a completely unnecessary chugging competition at Trinity Common. Get outside and say “Why does it look like there’s fog everywhere??” Friends reply: “Because there is fog everywhere.”

7) Arrive at Sneaky Dee’s and discover that such a thing as Pabst exists – a $3 beer! Am overjoyed. Also, awkward old people dancing.


8) Beer Station. That’s all I’ve got.

9) Lee’s Palace. 12 Pubs of Christmas meets its biggest obstacle – a concert smack dab in the middle of the festivities. We go to see Viet Cong play, and are accused of being racists by protesters. A giant microphone and video camera are thrust in Ronnie’s face, while a TV reporter questions his racist tendencies. I back away slowly. Once inside, we have a drink. The group becomes collectively wobbly.

10) Pauper’s Pub. I wanna say we did shots here? Only the Liquor Gods know for sure.

11) Our server at Green Room tries to sabotage 12 Pubs of Christmas by talking us into ordering two pitchers of beer. We try to cancel the order and he claims “It’s too late.” We pawn off the second pitcher onto a very apprehensive table nearby.

12) Literally end the night on a high note, singing “Jesse’s Girl” and “I Want it That Way” at Poutineville. Patrons and servers alike obviously love us/want to be our best friends. We end with sangria, just in case the beer and liquor wasn’t enough mixing.

And THAT is how you celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. Happy holidays people!

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