There’s nothing fancy about Monty’s. There’s a recycled church pew up the back, a couple of deep booths down the sides and a set of turntables beside the bar. Owners Monty Mullooly-Hill, Oscar Herman, Paul Milne and Ravi Thompson wouldn’t have it any other way.

Between them they’ve poured drinks at Prudence, The Worker’s Club, Joe’s Shoe Store, City Wine Shop and in Milne’s case, co-owned the old Mercy Seat Cafe.

Their main takeaway from all that experience is that simplicity is best, so there are only two beer taps, but they pour the kind of easy-drinking brews you always feel like. There are more options in the fridge, including Chimay, Coldstream Porter and Coopers Sparkling. Herman oversees the 11-drop wine list, which starts cheekily with Bollinger Champagne ($120) before settling into reasonably priced bottles of chardonnay, riesling, shiraz, malbec and pinot noir.

Pizzas come from Red Olive next door, adhering to the classic theme as well as any food.

There’s margherita, vegetarian, capricciosa, mushroom or sausage. Monty’s is also working on a menu with the nearby Moroccan Soup Bar. On all but the most frigid days the backyard is a drawcard, whether you’re huddled around the fireplace or hidden in its border of lush ferns and native plants.

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Updated: February 26th, 2020

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