Boxcar Social is a funky lil find tucked away in the Financial District. The fourth location for the Boxcar brand, owners John Baker, Alex Castellani, Chris Ioannou and Joe Papik have a special connection with this unique location.
A sort of refuge from the bustle of Bay Street, Boxcar Temperance is the perfect place to unwind after a long day at the office. Industrially-inspired, there is a relaxed vibe emphasized through the crafty wooden table tops, chalkboard beverage lists, leather bar stools and eclectic decor.
A striking feature of the space is definitely the display of whiskey bottles spanning over one hundred (whiskey lovers rejoice!), each like a piece of artwork. In addition to the vast collection, they also have a number of rotating wines, craft beers and ciders.
If that’s not your vibe, Boxcar offers a selection of curated coffee, as well. Beans from all over the world, you’re sure to fall in love with your next cup of joe. That means no matter if you’re popping in during the afternoon or evening, they’ve got you covered! Plus, you can even enjoy a cup of something warm with a pastry from Blackbird Baking Co., whom they work with closely.
Another element that’s special to this location is the inclusion of hand-crafted cocktails that involve playful twists on classics. Though you will find things like a Negroni or a Whiskey Sour on the menu, there is often a fun lil spin on them. After mulling over the list, I opted for a Maple & Walnut Old Fashioned. Smooth and silky whiskey kissed with a mapley sweetness and juxtaposed by mellow bitters, I enjoyed sipping this multidimensional cocktail.
Less intrigued by the cocktails and more enamoured by their extensive whiskey selection, my date for the night settled on a barrel-aged Kentucky Whiskey, which also proved to be a win. Though I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of whiskey neat, I was told that what Boxcar served up was toasty, smooth and delicately caramelized—an overall good whiskey...I’ll have to take my date’s word for it.
To nurse our drinks, we decided to share the following:
Variety of colourful green, purple and black olives
Spiced in fresh herbs and coated in olive oil
Mixed with roasted almonds
Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Capocollo, salami, prosciutto
Red pepper jelly
A great place to share sips and nibbles, this bar def gives off not only a trendy, but casually chill vibe. I think this is a great spot to gather after a long day at the office, but because of its location, it also lends itself beautifully for an intimate get together after after dark. What makes Boxcar a fab spot for a first date is that this space embodies ease—cocktails are sure to melt you as you chat intimately with a guest, while dimmed lights hide the outside world.
I think one of the main reasons that I enjoyed Boxcar Social was that it is so confident in what is. They serve whiskeys, wines, beers and coffee. The food menu is simple and concise and doesn’t detract from the main focus of the bar, which is the selection of carefully chosen beverages, which helps to refocus guests.
Likewise, there is a sort of ‘sip and savoir’ feel that Boxcar Temperance encourages as they take pride in serving unique whiskeys and drinks that reflect the basics. Boxcar isn’t complicated, it’s straightforward—that's what makes it such a great spot to stop by for any rhyme or reason.
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Have you been to any of the Boxcar locations? What are your thoughts?