By Riva Soucie
Hintonburgers have always prided themselves on the practicality of the group of little neighborhood(s) just East of Westboro (where, as the joke goes, you can buy a comb for your cat, but not batteries for a flashlight). Within walking distance, there is a hospital, hardware store, cobbler, two dry cleaners, a post office, drugstores, a couple computer doctors, and countless food shops.
The downside is that many drinking establishments also tend to be utilitarian, not to mention old-fashioned and a little worn. Especially lacking has been a spot to go when you want somewhere fancier and more food-forward than a plain old pub, but you don’t feel like changing out of your holey jeans. In short, somewhere between a gastropub and what the Brits call a “local.”
Enter the newly opened Hintonburg Public House, an instantly comfortable Wellington West fixture, decked out in Asian-inspired furniture, vintage signage, church pews, and a long, L-shaped wooden bar. Owner Summer Baird (formerly of Urban Pear) is a thoughtful publican, chatting warmly with patrons at their tables and proffering insights about the rotating art collections on the walls. Meanwhile, Chef Kris Kshonze’s seasonal menu is happily reminiscent of his days in The Whalesbone kitchen.