Monday, March 13, 2006


This weekend in Kingston, I said goodbye to two landmark establishments that were beloved by me when I was an undergraduate student.

1) The Scherzo Pub

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The Scherzo Pub (formerly known as The Wellington) is not just a pub. It is also an astonishingly intimate live music venue and one of my favourite places ever. There was a time when it was one of Kingston's best places to see a live show.

Some of the bands I have seen play the Scherzo: Tricky Woo, Luther Wright & The Wrongs, Tamara Williamson, The Orange Alabaster Mushroom, Bent Ivy (Jill Barber's old outfit), Reno's Hitmen, Kid Koala, Lederhosen Lucil, Veal, Bullfrog, Robin Black & The Intergalactic Rockstars, The Frenetics and many more.

The Scherzo will be closing its doors for good at the end of March and whatever takes its place will not be a venue for live music. Its loss is a blow to Kingston's vibrant music community. (Let's cross our fingers that the Grad Club survives the construction of the new Student Centre. That blow would be near-fatal.)

2) Andrea's Convenience/Andrea's Lunch Bar

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Andrea's was already closed and heavily made-over when I arrived, so I did not get to say a proper farewell. (But my very kind hosts can attest that I moaned "Aaandreaa's!" pitifully every time we passed by its new yellow stucco facade.)

Andrea's was a vaguely sketchy convenience store and greasy spoon rolled into one. They had the best damned egg salad sandwiches you have ever tasted and made thick, delicious milkshakes the old-fashioned way. The aging waitresses at Andrea's wore hairnets and aprons and called you "hon" and "sweetie" and had ill-placed lipstick. The joint was perpetually in a blue smoky haze, but that was part of its charm.

Andrea's was a relic from another era and I loved it. Its loss is a blow to Kingston's vibrant chainsmoking-unemployed-weirdos-with-mullets- who-have-nothing- better-to-do-than-nurse-a-coffee-all-day-long community.

Andrea's Lunch Bar, I honour your greasy memory.

(Now playing: "Days", The Kinks)

(Thanks to everyone who made my trip lovely. You know who you are.)


Blogger Susan said...

The best show I saw at the Scherzo? Toss up between Hayden and Hot Hot Heat. I didn't know Andrea's was closed, but I can't say I am surprised. It remains to this day the only place I have seen where you could buy toilet paper rolls as singles.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Sofi said...

My god, I totally forgot about that Hayden/Bodega show! That was fucking beautiful. Remember how we all sat cross-legged on the floor? It was like summer camp.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gah! burger king, the ironhorse, and now THIS? i have so many memories in that fucking hurts me physically. kingston, how thou art changed. i feel like i hardly know ye anymore-y.



11:18 AM  
Blogger caitlin h. said...

"Kingston's vibrant chainsmoking-unemployed-weirdos-with-mullets- who-have-nothing- better-to-do-than-nurse-a-coffee-all-day-long community"

Well, there's always that Coffee Way across from Hotel Dieu.

And the Scherzo was the first pub I ever got thrown out of. Twice. Ah, memories.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of people are mourning the Scherz. I was embarrassed at the time, but I'm glad I actually spent new year's there this year. with slaves of spanky. oy.

but ANDREAS!?!?! They used to have such cheap smokes! that's so sad.


2:57 PM  

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