Sparrow: the gourmet Mile-End bar

Sparrow is a friendly bar in the Mile End neighbourhood that offers affordable cocktails in a warm atmosphere. The place also offers a few small plates and a great brunch on weekends!

They named the bar Sparrow “… because the sparrow is a humble little bird full of energy, and I think we wanted to create a bar with that in mind,” says Murad Meshgini, co-owner.

Having always lived in the Mile End, his dream for a long time was to open a bar in his neighbourhood. When he saw the sign for rent on St-Laurent Boulevard, he jumped at the opportunity. Moreover, already in love with St-Laurent Boulevard, Murad strongly believes that “the main” is the spiritual core of the city.

The small bar of about thirty seats is very charming! The decor is simple and cozy, with warm lighting, and a tavern air. Murad, his wife Reema (Cocoa Locale), Annika Krausz (Larry’s and Lawrence) and her construction friends helped design the space. There is plenty of seating for those who want to stand, as well as several stools; the whole place is perfect for partying in a comfortable and cozy decor.

In the kitchen, chef Jay Taylor prepares his small but well-crafted menu. “He looks like Jon Voight, but cooks butter chicken like a 70-year-old Indian woman from New Delhi!” Classics on the menu include the burger, Indian inspired dishes and a few customer-loved entrees. Small seasonal changes influence some dishes, but the core of the menu remains the same. The house burger is truly exceptional, we also like the trout, but our favourite is the butter chicken. On the weekend, come try their Middle Eastern influenced brunch that is absolutely delicious! Many of the baked goods are made at the Cardinal Tea Room just above Sparrow; which is another address we love and is owned by the same people.

To drink, they have a short wine list thought up by co-owner Stephen Kamp with the help of Dave Pendon and Theo Diamantis of Oenopole. The cocktails were developed by Murad and are adjusted with suggestions from staff members. They also offer several hard liquor options for every taste.

In the bar, their warm staff is managed by Kelsey Gossen – “the best busboy I’ve ever had in my 20-year career. Now he’s the manager and Swiss Army knife of the place… “

“I’m really proud of the space, my staff, the cocktails and the food! I love to see people hanging out in a small corner of the bar or a group partying in the middle. I also love it when people come alone to enjoy a meal. And my favourite part is seeing how hard my staff works and seem to be having fun. On their off time, they hang out and go out together. Friendships have been formed in my work environment and I think that’s great.”

Our favourite part of Sparrow is the very informal atmosphere of the bar and its small but gourmet menu. We also love coming in for brunch on weekends. It’s a lovely establishment to keep in mind when you visit the Mile End. Note that the kitchen closes at 11pm and the bar at 3am and that groups of more than 8 are not accepted on weekends.

Photography by Sparrow

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