New Thing #330: Red Rocket Coffee Danforth

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Red Rocket Coffee used to be my stop whenever I was down near Queen and Greenwood while Shauna would be out picking up plants across the street. Then they had their rent upped and they were forced to move. Lucky for us, it’s near our hood.

The funny thing is that they took up residence in the same place that housed another coffee shop a few years ago: Niche Coffee. It’s on the Danforth near Greenwood, and the I couldn’t help but get a huge sense deja vu walking in. Pretty much nothing has changed from the old Niche days.

The counter, backsplash, fireplace and furnishings are to be the same, with maybe a few more tables crammed together. Even the slelection of designer teas on the shelves look familiar.

But that’s not a bad thing, because Niche was a great, warm and inviting place to grab a latte and park yourself down on a cold day. But this isn’t a post about Niche, we’re talking Red Rocket. So how do they fare?

Well, just about as well as they did when they were on Queen. They’re ok. 

The coffee’s not bad, but it’s not great either. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to drop in if I’m around there and need a coffee fix. I might even take a nice leisurly stroll with them in mind in the summertime, but it won’t be replacing Grinder as my go-to spot for espresso. 

So check it out if you’re an east ender and help support another good business in the neighbourhood.

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New Thing #141: The Projection Booth

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The old Gerrard Cinema (which I’d never actually been to) has been reborn as The Project Booth, an independent theatre for the east end.

They had a pay-what-you-can family event going on today to give the locals a chance to check out the joint. It also provided some much needed relief from the heat. 

I grabbed a coffee from Grinder East a few doors down and headed in. The new marquee hasn’t quite been installed yet, and having never been there before I didn’t quite know what to expect. Inside though, it’s wonderful.

It’s a bit like stepping into a time capsule of what it used to be like for me to go see movies in my home town. There’s a giant popcorn maker at the concession stand, the seats are gigantic, with tons of leg room. The screen isn’t four stories high either, but the room’s perfectly proportioned to the screen. It felt personal, unlike the megaplexes we see movies in today.

But it’s not just the theatre itself that’s impressive, I had a long chat with the owner and he has big plans for the place. His enthusiasm for cinema, and specifically Grindhouse and horror movies shone through. What’s more, they plan on being open seven days a week so there should always be something interesting to see on a moment’s notice.

I’m hoping that they get a chance to show The Rocky Horror Picture Show some time before my blog is finished. I’ve never actually managed to get to a live screening. The concrete floors of the theatre would make picking up all that toast a breeze.

I really hope that The Project Booth is successful. They seem to have the right idea for it and their hearts are definitely in the right place. Now I just need to find some time to go see a movie there!

New Thing #55: Mako Espresso Bar

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As many of you may know, I have sort of an obsession with my local espesso bar Grinder. But a few months ago a new kid on the block (well, a new kid around the corner) opened up: Mako Espresso Bar. So when I pulled up infront of Grinder today, fingers crossed, and found out that they were closed for Good Friday I decided to test my luck and see if Mako was open. And it was.

Unfortunately though, my expectations seem to have been set a bit high. The staff was friendly and the place was generally nice inside but the coffee just wasn’t up to par. The latte was weak and a bit bitter and I think the milk might have been a little on the burnt side as well. At least it only cost $3.75.

Too bad. I guess I’ll just have to check into Grinder for the 144th time.

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