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Toronto Globe's dining critic sinks six inches into a Hy's chair

Hy’s - a place that built its name on orgies of beef - turned 60 last fall and no one noticed. Notable not for its few attempts at progress, but for its pointed obliviousness to it. You won’t find star mixologists or craft beer here. “You really wouldn’t be surprised to turn around and find, at a nearby table, four portly men with watch chains and waistcoats and walrus mustaches chortling over brandy and cigars,” a city food critic once wrote in 1970. The observation rings nearly as true today. Hy’s has always been from another time, it once was nonetheless an exciting restaurant. It used to be the scene of political expense scandals and Bay Street intrigue. In 1978, when Hy’s was still a novelty in the city, the managers at both the Yorkville and Financial District locations, as well as a bartender, were charged in a major cocaine and marijuana bust. The place could use a little of that sort of publicity these days. Photos by Mark Blinch for The Globe and Mail.

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