Saturday, 12 January 2019

Nerdvana Comes to Toronto

Release the Kraken!
Storm Crow Manor, which bills itself as "Canada's Nerdiest Bar" has opened a location in Toronto. So, two days after Christmas my two older children, myself, and their respective partners went there. After all, they have a shot menu where you can roll 1d20 to get a random shot!

I'll get the disclosure bit out of the way upfront. Storm Crow Manor in Vancouver has a rent-a-DM program, and Storm Crow Manor in Toronto is creating a program like this.

It may well be possible, in the near future, to book an evening or weekend day where I run you through any Dungeon Crawl Classics or Mutant Crawl Classics adventure that exists - I own them all - or you get to playtest something new I am working on. I have already talked to the general manager at Storm Crow Manor and this looks like something that is going to happen. So, feel free to keep that in mind.

The ambiance was worth the price


Going to Dinner; Paying for Ambiance

I found the food to be good. You could probably find the same meal for cheaper, but you wouldn't get the same decor. If you are pinching pennies (and all of us are from time to time), you can get an idea of price range from their menu. And, yes, you can roll 1d20 for a burger, too.

Our table ordered a starter of Legendary Chickpea Fries, which were actually quite good. I had the New New York Strip, medium rare, which was great....but I should have upgraded and gotten the peppercorn sauce! I also had my first sour beer, which was an interesting experience. One I would definitely try again!

Jace Schulz and Ryan Bishop at dinner
A Good Mix of Genres

Dinner was in a room modeled after the bars in Twin Peaks and the Overlook Hotel from The Shining (Stanley Kubrick version). Walking through the Manor showed various fantasy, horror, and science fiction themes. There is a statue of Cthulhu. There is a beholder mounted over a fireplace. There is a rancor head mounted on one wall. I am told that this is still a work in progress, and that there will eventually be a TARDIS to pass through on the way to the room we had dinner in. My understanding is that the summer patio furniture is also going to be interesting.

Storm Crow Manor also features a secret door built into a bookcase, which leads to a room based off of the Nautilus from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Going down to the bathroom requires passing through a hall that is lined with skulls. The individual rest rooms also have interesting and thematic decor.

Critical Hit!
A Word About Scott

After dinner, we were able to get a seat at the bar near the Jules Verne room. And yes, we did roll for shots. I managed to roll a critical hit on my third go.

The drink menu included quite a few interesting concoctions. I found the Corpse Reanimator particularly enticing, but other drinks, such as the Romulan Ale, were also pretty good. There were group cocktails, which we did not get, but the presentation of the Dark Side Bowl made me wish we had tried a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Another time, perhaps.

But the bartender that night, Scott, sold the experience more than even the decor. Could it be that my entire reason for writing this post is to let the management know how excellent Scott is? His banter, delivery, conversational skills, and simple enjoyment of his job (or damn fine acting if he doesn't love it!) made that part of the evening a real treat.

Best. Bartender. Ever.

Mike Bishop and Ramona Ross in the Jules Verne Room


Mike opening the secret door


Wall in the Jules Verne Room
Passage to the rest rooms
The Storm Crow Manor website can be found here!

Some of the pictures in this blog post were taken by Mike Bishop and used with permission.

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