Triple A Bar has taken over the former space of Mr. Ciao at Gerrard and Broadview in East Chinatown.
The Texas-style barbecue joint with locations on Queen East and Adelaide is known for its handwritten menu of Austin-inspired specialties like smoked beef brisket, dry rub ribs and chicken and waffles, plus sides like maple beans, coleslaw and mac and cheese.
"This is a larger space than the others and all of the smoking is done at this location so you can see and
smell the BBQ happening," says Robert VanTol of Triple A Bar.
A complete overhaul was given to the 70-seat space that now features a floor-to-ceiling street view, wraparound bar and rustic touches — wood beams and pillars, pallet walls, aged steel bar — in the style of its other locations. There's also a 30-seat street patio that's open till 2 a.m.
There's also a pinball machine and arcade table that brings out a bit of a retro game vibe for the kids, while $5 AAA draft beer, $3 tequilla shots and wine and cider on tap will keep adults happy.
The new location features an expanded menu that includes items like fish tacos and steak that are sometimes highlighted as specials at the other locations.
"We added a smoked burger that we're really proud of and have wanted to do for a long time," he says. "We will also be experimenting and doing additional unique nightly specials like chicken fried steak for this location. We also added a couple of salads and desserts to round it out so that it's more of a family menu."
Insider tip: For anyone missing the Italian comfort of its predecessor, this Triple A Bar location has a secret menu with a selection of some old Mr. Ciao favourites such as pizza fritta (fried pizza) and pastas.
Triple A Bar is open Monday to Friday 5 p.m. till 2 a.m. and noon till 2 a.m. on weekends. There's also free customer parking.
Visit tripleabar.ca for more info.