299 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto ON, M6R 2M3
Call for reservations: 416-532-7700
Barque Smokehouse is a restaurant in the west end that focuses on barbequed meat dishes, but has a surprising number of vegetarian options through their selection of side dishes. The very tasty menu may be an ideal option for those looking for a meal that is a little more upscale, but still hearty and very filing. Located in the Roncesvalles Villiage, 7 blocks south of the accessible Dundas West station, this mid-size eatery meets most essential accessibility needs if your mobility device is not especially large.
When approaching the restaurant from across the street you will have to make use of a crosswalk and make your way over streetcar tracks. Street parking is available along Roncesvalles Avenue and the sidewalks are well-maintained.
We entered through two sets of doors that are each 36” wide. The entryway was level with the sidewalk. There was no automatic door opener, but the doors themselves were reasonably light. Staff were eager to assist if asked and made every effort to be helpful throughout our visit. Once inside, there was not a huge amount of space, but it was manageable with a 17” wide manual chair. The most constrained space was a narrow pathway between a row of tables and the long bar. This aisle opened up into a larger space at the back of the restaurant, where we ate. The wheelchair managed to make It through after asking some customers to move in their chairs. For those who use a mobility device a width larger than 18”, it could be a deal-breaker. The wood floors were smooth throughout the space.
Tables were mostly standard height. Many had removable chairs although there are some bar height tables near the front door. When we arrived after dark the interior lighting was uneven with a light hanging over roughly every second table. At the time of our review the restaurant was full and fairly noisy. It was mentioned by our server that Sunday night is one of their busiest times.
Most importantly for this neighbourhood (where many businesses only have a downstairs bathroom), the single accessible stall at Barque is located on the main floor, and approached via a wide hallway (with one slightly tight turn) at the back of the building. Doorway width when entering the bathroom stall was 35”, the door opened inwards and had to be closed and locked manually. There is one L-shaped grab bar beside the toilet. Height underneath the sink was 29” high, however a step stool was stored in the space. There were no auto-features for the sink and it was difficult to control the water temperature.
It is important to end this review by noting that although there are some negative points listed above, the level entryway and accessible main floor bathroom stall are huge pluses in a neighbourhood where accessibility of businesses is often lacking.