I have a new home and it’s the Storm Crow Manor.
It’ll be difficult to make the move though. I mean, I have a wife and family, but I don’t think they understand me as well as Canada’s Geekiest Pub does. It’ll be a case of having to make some personal changes in terms of food, relationships and décor.
You see, I have an arrangement with my wife. She has no geekiness so I am confined to one single room in the basement where I can let my geek flag fly. I’m surrounded by Star Trek, Star Wars, and trophy autographs of my interviews. I have comics galore and all sorts of collectible paraphernalia. So, of course, it’s no surprise that I should find a second home at the Storm Crow Manor.
Located at 580 Church Street in Toronto, there are multiple geek flags to salute. Star Wars, Star Trek, Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons; you name it – it’s there for you to enjoy with a cornucopia of themed foods and drinks to satisfy even the most reluctant of nerds.
My personal favourite was the Critical Hit. It’s the perfect shot menu to start off the night. As in Dungeons & Dragons, you roll a twenty-sided die to determine what to hit. A random list of shots matches up your die roll and if you should roll a natural twenty, well, you get to keep the shot glass.
I rolled a twenty.
Well, actually, my pal rolled the twenty – but I got to keep the shot glass. It resides on my bar, a trophy of the evening.
Speaking of trophies, the prize mounted heads of the Rancor from the Star Wars Universe and the Beholder that Dungeons & Dragons fans would easily recognize, adorn the walls of the Victorian Hunting Room. When seated at the bar, having these two imposing trophies looming in the background behind you not only make for an excellent drinking evening, but give you a shared sense of ownership of these intimidating kills. If you ever dreamed of being a victorious Jedi Knight or your 9th level Dwarven Cleric faced down one of the many-eyed beasts, then you deserve that drink.
You’re also encouraged to roam around the place; find secret passages, explore the themed rooms. While you may think that this may cause congestion, I actually found that other people were as excited as I was to explore this joint. I mean, another patron and I were looking at the plethora of mecha-themed bathrooms in the basement together, awkwardly asking if we’d cover each other if other patrons caught us taking pictures of the toilets! It’s THAT cool, people.
I liked that sort of relationship with the other patrons. People go to this place for more than just a curiousity. There’s a real sense of camaraderie amongst geeks. If you understand the Post-Apocalyptic Room on the second floor, then you have an affinity for a particular genre of science fiction that only a few people can appreciate. Now you’re surrounded by an entire roomful of people who get it.
Getting it is part of the experience. It’s even reflected in the food and drink menu. If you check out the drink list, you’ll notice it’s in a Star Trek TNG LCARS computer system format. The Star Trek drinks include Romulan Ale along with an assortment of others that will make any bona fide Trekkie smile. I mean, I know I did.
But the specialty drinks like the Mezterio are guaranteed to tickle the fancy of a true Comics believer. Hey, I met Stan Lee three times and I can tell you he’d have loved that a Marvel Comics franchise property would continue to inspire even the livers of thirsty geeks.
I loved the Conan’s Barbarian Board with meats and cheeses. I’m a sucker for finger foods, so the Pickle Rick and Morties Platter had to be ordered. But the popular favourite appetizer has to be the Legendary Chickpea Fries. I wanted to try more of the food choices like the Rebel X-Wings or the Dungeon Burger. I’m heading back for another visit because this is food disguised as geek loyalty and I will wholly subscribe to that concept because this is a pub that gets me.
Thus, it’s official. Given the nature of the décor, the food and the fact that you can find a fellow geek who loves the same franchise as you do, this needs to be my favourite place to hang my hat, roll my dice and take on a persona that’s completely within the realm of fantasy. However, it’s also just great to find a place to hang out that meets a niche that growing more and more popular as geek-culture takes on a more dominant role in our cultural perspective. There are so many ways in which nerdstuff can apply and the pub scene is not exempt from this.
Hell, I want to set up a D&D Campaign, watch “Wrath of Khan” and then read an H.P Lovecraft book – all in the same day at this place. I know my wife wouldn’t mind.