- It wasn’t that long ago that Bloordale was a strip of Toronto that felt neglected. In fact, most people may feel like it’s still neglected, but looking around, it’s evident that there are signs of improvement. That’s where Three Speed comes in. Located unseemingly near Pauline on Bloor street West, they definitely took a risk opening up in this somewhat seedy Toronto neighbourhood. But regardless the risk, it seems to have worked for them. Packed nightly with 20-something hipsters, it’s difficult to get a seat if you show up past 8 or 9 o’clock, but don’t let any of that stop you. As far as Blansdowne goes, bar-wise there just isn’t much that competes with it.
Three Speed is brought about by the same people who started the Communist’s Daughter, and they also have some affiliation with The Dakota, so you can expect the same sorta crowd and atmosphere–and dare I say pretentiousness–that you’d expect to see in any of those spots. If you can find the dam place that is…
Three Speed is difficult to notice. In fact, if you weren’t directly looking for it or didn’t know where it was, you’d probably go right past; and if it wasn’t for the red lights strung about the front window spiking my curiosity, I probably wouldn’t have ever discovered it either. So when you’re walking around Bloor and Lansdowne, and you finally do find it and get inside, the hidden-factor sorta gives it the feel of a Bloordale oasis.
The inside of Three Speed is not what you’d expect by the near-crumbling exterior. Inside it’s dimly lit, low-key, and seriously comfortable. With exposed brick, wood panels, and art galore, it’s an easy place to want to hang out at.
Scribbled on a chalkboard and suspended on the bar wall, Three Speed has a slightly random food menu that displays their feature items, like mussels served in 1 of 3 styles, Lo, Med, and High, indicating ‘speed’ but not content. You can expect well-rounded flavours of lime, fennel, and roasted garlic. No mistake, these are mighty good mussels. But if there’s a bunch of you and mollusks aren’t your thing, I’d recommend the Party Plate. It’s a nice spread of cheese, meat, and pickled goodness. If you’re not the sharing type, I’d go with the sirloin burger. Although I’ve definitely had better, this is still a savoury and sizeable burger that won’t disappoint you.
Like I said, it feels like the neighbourhood is on the mend and slowly losing its feel of neglect. There are even a few other cool spots that followed suit and opened up in this neighbourhood, like Holy Oak and the Starving Artist; both businesses that are beginning to do well.
If you’re in the Bloordale area, hanging out at Three Speed is an easy, but slowly becoming not the only option. But the fact remains, these people have taken a crappy, ex-Karaoke dump in a less-than-desirable neighbourhood and turned it into something special that is directly impacting the culture of Bloordale and for that, they definitely deserve to be commended. Nice job Three Speed.
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