Storm Crow Manor: “Canada’s Biggest Nerd Bar” Opens Its Doors in TorontoNovember 12, 2018
Geeks and nerds of Toronto rejoice because there is now a bar/restaurant that you can call a second home. Located at 580 Church Street in Toronto, Storm Crow Manor has two floors and eight rooms, not counting the cool bathrooms downstairs, to cater to many different geek fandoms. The combination of old styles and all things nerd make this a very interesting place indeed.
Dubbed “a sports bar for geeks”, Storm Crow Manor initially launched in 2011 in Vancouver to outright skepticism and disbelief. However, never underestimate the power of the nerd and flash forward to 2018 and a grand opening in Toronto, with another second opening planed in Toronto in the next year or two. Douglas Gregoire, General Manager of the newest addition to the Storm Crow Manor family here in Toronto, was kind enough to give a tour and explanation of just what to expect when you come to visit.
As I mentioned, there are many themed rooms to this place, which made me wonder just how you decide on the themes. ‘It’s mostly our owner Jason (Kapalka) who put it all together but it is done by committee, decided on by a group’ said Douglas. ‘It’s a combination of deciding on what’s cool, unique and mashing up as many fandoms as possible. We want this place to say yes, we’re a place for nerds but we want it to be a place for everyone as well.’
And unique it is. One of the rooms is a combination of The Shining meets Twin Peaks, which includes the beautifully lit long bar, the red color scheme and some familiar faces combining both of these fandoms. There is also the Mary Shelley/Mad Scientist bar, complete with chairs that look like they’re straight from the execution room or set of Frankenstein, an old operating table light from the forties and the bar top design to mirror the old operating table, with a placed drain in the center.
Certain rooms can also be closed off for private events, something that they have done with great success in their Vancouver location. ‘We have a Game of Thrones night in Vancouver and people generally lined up around the block for about an hour beforehand, sit for an hour beforehand and then everybody gathers around and watches it.’ Douglas said, smiling. ‘It’s great because people love the show, they are quiet to hear the dialogue, cheer at certain points, it’s pretty amazing to see. We haven’t worked out how we’re going to do it here but we will definitely be screening Game of Thrones when it comes back on’.
There are also board games to play if you are so inclined to do so, something that also offers an intriguing option for families looking to do something different with their kids. ‘Oh yeah’, Douglas said, ‘we really want to encourage families to check us out. There is no charge if you just want to come and play board games, we even have to smaller, intimate rooms for a family if they so choose. When we really get rolling and get very busy we will have time limits on tables during peak hours, like three hours, but yeah, playing games won’t cost you anything…unless you want to try something off of our interesting menu.’
Speaking of the menu, it is also very nerd-themed, offering some very familiar fare done in some very different and unique ways. For the adults, the drinks are also a lot of fun, including a 20-sided die, something very familiar to fans of Dungeons and Dragons, with a corresponding random shot chart. Roll at your own risk, some of the shots sound interesting to say the least, but rolling a twenty also gets you a free souvenir shot glass.
There is also a Nautilus room, Victorian style room, Steampunk/Blade Runner room…you get the idea. With a maximum capacity of about 240 people and a 200 plus capacity patio coming in the summer, there is plenty of room here to enjoy this very unique and enjoyable environment. Whether you’re a nerd or geek or just plain curious, Storm Crow Manor is something different that is really worth checking out.
Many thanks to Douglas Gregoire for taking time out of his day to both chat with me and give me a personal tour.