Ravage and Rumble

Ravage and Rumble has taken over the old Blondie's spot in Parkdale with a soft opening at the end of last year. Run by friends Avery Santucci and Rainbow Sun Francks, gone are the zebra stripes and plush pillows of Blondie's, though they've keep the late night weekend hours.

Instead they stripped it back to the basics- some exposed brick walls, a little bit of white stucco in the front, and black detailing in the ceiling, trim and partial walls. Small graphic elements in blue and graffiti panels imbue request "street" edge, while illumination comes in the form of design approved dropped and clustered bare tungsten bulbs.

The details are relatively benign, the deeper elements of some clubber's graphic t-shirt collection, but what counts is where this bar shows its heart- behind the bar. Besides the booze there are shelves of what (I think) are the owners' favourite nerdy toys and trinkets, video game stuff and figurines (someone affiliated with R and R is clearly a gamer) and then it sinks in. Perhaps they got the name from an early and rare set of Transformers figurines- Ravage and Rumble.

As for the libation selection itself, you've got your basic bar haul. Taps include Sapporo, Creemore, Rickard's Red, Molson Stock ale, Newcastle and Heineken. A good mix of bottles wait in the fridge, the rail is your usual liquor run, and the mix comes from a gun. Premium brands sit amongst the toys on the shelves ready for shots or cocktails, but when I come and ask for a fancy drink I'm told by Francks they are no longer available, he stopped making them around ten o'clock.

I'm not sure if he's quickly realizing cocktails won't be a good fit for Ravage and Rumble, or if they are just offered in the slower, earlier hours. I don't mind, I prefer beer and I don't expect Francks to add mixologist to his long list of talents- bar owner, music producer, former Much Music VJ, and current actor on The Listener.

The space is as multi-functioning as Francks. There's been an Andd Garment pop-up, tables for chit chat and bar stools for a hang, and in the back somehow find enough space for both comfy chairs and a dance floor in front of turntables for DJ nights.

The bar is too big to be cozy like Pharmacy or the Yukon , and too ill-equipped and narrow to compete with a neighbour music venue like Wrongbar , but it has a certain mid-range potential- a unobtrusive backdrop to host a range of events, including the consumption of a simple beer and maybe even some gaming?

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