Blondie's is hedging its bets. This upscale cafe, serving solid cappuccinos and lattes during the day, moonlights as a trendy lounge bar after 7pm, from Wednesday to Saturday. Having two functions keeps this establishment right in step with the dichotomy of an area like the Parkdale stretch around Queen and Lansdowne: an economically-depressed neighbourhood haunted by homelessness and drug use that's equally populated by young and trendy professionals.

Blondie's is a far cry from some of the other local coffee shops serving day and night functions, like Coffee Time, but that doesn't mean it's missing the mark when it comes to location. Ever since the Drake Hotel became Club District West, the area's been opening up for dressed-up dancing spots and high-end cocktail bars for a younger, more solvent crowd than the area has known in previous years.

Although it's only just opened, Blondie's is already attracting many a business man looking to loosen his tie and listen to the live DJ spin lounge and house music; music which, to be honest, sounds like one long, never-ending instrumental homage to Jamiroquai.

The black leather seats and couches mimic the remarkable number of black leather jackets being worn by the bar's patrons. A rough-hewn slate wall runs along one side of the space. Behind the bar, a large mirror crowns the underlit selection of spirits and liqueurs, while enormous antlers wind themselves around overhanging lights. The scale and use of natural elements is decadent but not over the top.

In the back room, near the DJ booth, a disco ball and stripper pole set the tone for dancing. The stripper pole looks more ornamental than functional, installed as it is

at the very corner of a small stage. I have visions of inebriated dancers using the pole for a sultry walk-around and falling right off the stage, and feel compelled to extend a word of caution.

With its fully stocked bar, Blondie's can mix you up pretty much any cocktail your little heart desires. On tap, they're serving Sapporo, Maudite, Blanche de Chambly and "Blondie's" own ale, as well as the more run of the mill Sleeman's Cream Ale and Upper Canada lager. There's cafe fare available during the day but nothing to nibble on at night, yet. Wear your best jeans or a pressed shirt, and exercise caution when pole-dancing.

Writing by Jessica McGann

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