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El Rey is Toronto’s temple of mescal

My hood is about to blow the F' up! With two new condo developments at College and Spadina (with one literally right outside my damn bedroom window...grrrrr), the spectre of gentrification is rearing it's ugly head.

The difference though is Kensington is decidely more culturally friendly and lots of cool bars are popping up in the neighbourhood to add to it's aesthetic.

El Rey, Grant van Gameren’s new Mexican bar in Kensington Market, is a temple to mescal. Clay copitas of the stuff are raised in cheers from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the colourful streetside patio. Curly-coiffed (and densely tatted) co-owner Owen Walker pours tasting flights that are almost as educational as they are intoxicating. And he mixes up some potent concoctions, like his Open Window, a spicier, more savoury rendition of the classic margarita. “I don’t often make cocktails with small-batch spirits,” says Walker, who spends about four hours of every workday talking about the nuances of mescal. “So when I do, the end result needs to be a celebration of that spirit and its individuality.”

Check out this piece from Toronto Life on El Rey!

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