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Bocce with your beer? Toronto bars get creative to draw a crowd

WATCH ABOVE: Track & Field Bar is the latest entry in Toronto’s unique night club and bar scene. Peter Kim reports.

Toronto has no shortage of unique nightlife destinations and the latest is Track & Field Bar – thought to be the city’s first lawn games bar. Owner Dustin Keating saw the concept in New York and was eager to bring it to Toronto.

“We’re getting to a time in our lives where we wanted to do something with a beer in hand,” said Keating. “We think it’s going to work. These are fun games to play, they’re accessible to everyone in a great space.”

Track & Field offers 1,000 square feet of game space, with bocce and shuffle board, that’s free for patrons to use. Their grand opening was last weekend and Keating said there was a lineup out the door.

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“It was crazy.”

Uniquely themed bars are a smart marketing play thanks to social media, according to nightclub marketing consultant Domenico Malfara.

“When you’re going to a spot where you’re interacting with different activities, you’re going to take pictures and upload to your social networks,” said Malfara. “And it’s going to grab people’s attention.”

Offering a memorable experience is smart for the bottom line says markting expert Brynn Winegard.

“Themed spaces are a great method to differentiate the offering from competitors,” said Winegard. “Most categories are highly saturated in first-world markets which means companies have to think strategically about how to offer consumers something different.”

Toronto has no lack of different. Get Well blends vintage video games with drinks for an approachable atmosphere say patrons.

“For me it’s great. If you don’t feel like talking, you can play some games,” said Bronwen, a local gamer at Iceman Video Games.

SPiN Toronto is a popular King West nightclub where people can challenge one another at ping pong between drinks. The unique space is 12,000 square feet and features 12 Olympic-sized tables.