Introducing: Bean and Baker, a ’50s malt shop on Harbord
Name: Bean and Baker Malt Shop
Neighbourhood: Christie Pits
Contact: 326 Harbord St., 416-536-7632, beanandbaker.com, @beanandbakermaltshop
Previously: The Bickford Flexitarian
Owners: Liezel and Brennan Anderson
The Food: Sugary treats to be washed down by not-too-sweet sodas. All baked goods are made in-house (butter tarts, cookies, pocket-sized fruit pies) except for the sole savoury option, personal pies that are brought in from Wisey’s. Ice cream sandwiches are made with Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream and customers can mix-and-match the two-cookie casing.
The Drinks: Classic soda-shoppe elixirs, including milkshakes and floats (also made with Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream) and classic fountain sodas sweetened with one of six different house-made syrups (Gramp’s Ginger, Orange, Hibiscus, Cream Soda, Root and Cola, Citrus Zinger) then mixed with spiralled bar spoons. “We’re not just sloshing the pop from a machine—there’s a lot of flavour going on here, ” says Brennan. “It’s not just I’m hot and thirsty and I need to drink something—if you’ve come here, you’ve decided that you want to taste.”
The Space: A retro soda fountain that would have Archie and his gang feeling right at home. Black-and-white tiled floors, Arborite tables, red vinyl stools and a faux tin ceiling all add to the Fifties feel. And the jerks (hey, that’s what they’re called) are decked out in crisp, white caps and red bow ties. Music stays true to the atmosphere, so no Top 40 tunes, but chances are there’ll be a little Chattanooga Choo Choo.