Back Lane Cafe

After many months, the plywood is finally down on the future Back Lane Cafe. I read on another site that it had come down last week, so I thought I’d see what I could find out on today’s walk through Hintonburg. I was not disappointed.

The sign on the front window says “now hiring” so that must mean they’re opening soon, right? As I looked down the lane that must have inspired the name, I could see workers. So I asked if I could pop my head inside.

Now Hiring

The guy carrying a table saw said that he was just finishing up some trim pieces and that George was inside.

I entered from the side door, which is a bit confusing because you wouldn’t know to turn right to go into the restaurant. Inside I met George and someone from the community association. They’re almost ready to open. George was really hospitable once he knew I wasn’t media. He offered me an espresso or coffee, but I’d already had my caffeine for the day so I had to pass. He also asked me not to post pictures of the unfinished product and to come back next week when the finishing details are complete.  But I do get to post one, as a teaser:

Inside the Back Lane Cafe

I remember squinting through the glass, peeking through a hole in the paper over the windows and seeing a giant hole in the floor. It was well worth rebuilding the floors: they’re gleaming hardwood now. There is art on the walls, table lamps on the bar and lights hanging from an industrial ceiling. I’d say it has an industrial parisienne feel to the place.

The cafe will hold 52 people, mostly at round tables and around a square bar. I got a peak inside the kitchen too, where two wood ovens have been installed. These will be used for pizza, making fresh bread, and roasting meat. So far they’ve roasted duck, rabbit and a few other meats.

They will have wine, but since I’m more interested in beer, I did learn they’ll try to have a Canadian microbrew flavour. Locally, they’ll stock Kichesippi and Beau’s on tap, and probably Creemore and Big Rock.

The back lane hasn’t been officially approved yet since three people are objecting. If it gets approved, another 20 people should be able to sit in the back lane between the two buildings. If I understood correctly, there may also be a patio at the front.

So if you’re walking along Wellington in Hintonburg next week and you smell fresh bread wafting from the back lane, stick your head in and ask for a sample. Just say gozzygirl and nosyneighbour sent you!

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