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Guelph, Ont. now home to smallest bar in Canada


The title for the smallest bar in Canada now goes to the City of Guelph.

Standing Room Only opened earlier this month at 60 Ontario St. in The Ward neighbourhood.

The near 144-square-foot space is slightly smaller than Montreal’s 150-square-foot El Pequeño, which used to be the tiniest bar in the country.

“It’s become something really special,” says owner Doug Todd.

To put the size in perspective, the space has a capacity of nine customers.

There are stools around the bar and a small table, so there is a bit more space than only standing room. And hidden in the corner is the world’s smallest dance floor.

“We are just shy of four square feet,” Todd says.

The speakeasy-styled spot includes lights disguised as Biltmore Hats wooden floors with the word “cheers” written in different languages, a disco ball, black and white images on the walls and red curtains.

Of course, once the drinks start to flow, it’s only a matter of time before you have to go – so there is a washroom.

Part of what makes this juice joint the cat’s pajamas has to do with the connections made because of the humble size.

“It’s designed to be homey,” said Todd. “This side of the room is chatting with this side of the room and it just becomes one big happy family.”

Customers can expect to meet new people whenever they walk in.

“Everybody is your friend who comes in,” said Trish Lowry, a repeat customer.

“You have no choice. You can try and avoid it with these guys but you have no choice,” said another guest, referring to a group of people behind him.

Another attraction is the complexity of the cocktails. One of the most popular drinks is the Toddfather, a spin on the traditional godfather drink, paired with cinnamon and smoke.

“You’re not getting a traditional old fashioned, it’s going to be “Doug-ified,” Todd says.

There’s no room for a kitchen, but guests are more than welcome to have food delivered to the bar.

Walk-ins are welcome for now, but the plan is to start taking reservations soon to help control capacity.

“We respect our neighbours, we don’t want lines outside,” Todd says.

One nearby resident did come up to CTV News outside the bar to say the neighbours love the spot and they are happy to see Standing Room Only here.

It’s a relief for Todd to hear such positive feedback.

“We've done something you don't really do, or that hasn't really been done in Guelph, by putting a bar in a residential area,” he said.

So maybe the best pairing can’t be written in a recipe. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of space and an unlikely location to bring people together.

Operating hours may change but for now they are open 4 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday to Saturday. Top Stories

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