Author Archives: Joshua
There’s a new place to wear your hat and boots downtown with the launch of the Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon at 250 Adelaide St. West.
Wednesday night I went to check out the private launch party (Thank you Liz & Strut Entertainment for the invite) and get a look at the newest country getaway in the city.
Note: At the exact same time I had friends checking out the preview party at Boots & Bourbon in Riverside and they made it clear that I need to get east of Yonge to check it out too.
As a country boy and a country music fan I was excited and sceptical going in. It didn’t take long for me to lose the scepticism.
When we checked in I could hear the music coming from upstairs and the night started with Luke Bryan (can’t wait to see him at Boots & Hearts 2014). From there the DJ did a great job all night long. At a country bar in downtown Toronto it took 2 and a half hours before Taylor Swift came through the speakers. That’s not a bad thing at a country bar! As much as I love T. Swift, she’s not the be all and end all of country music.
It was also awesome to see 8 Seconds (1994, Luke Perry as Lane Frost) and sports playing on the TVs in the joint. I’ve already got a list of cowboy movies in my head that I would love to see playing when I walk in again.
And oh ya, there’s an Elvis pinball machine against the wall, just past the pool table with a brand new red felt. not too shabby.
Outside of the obvious “every country bar ever” decor, there are also some other special tidbits like the bar stools with saddles for seats and the mechanical bull and inflatable ring set up in the far corner of the bar.
I didn’t ride the bull last night. I thought about it. But I didn’t do it. I regret it a little bit, but I’m sure that I’ll get another chance some day.
The night was hosted by CMT Chevrolet Top 20 Countdown‘s Paul McGuire who was good on the mic. Made some semi-adult jokes while one of the Spurlesque (the country dancer girls) ladies rode the bull and he did a great job handing out trivia questions and prizes throughout the evening.
Back to the trivia, the 1st question of the night was “Who Wrote Wagon Wheel?” and I totally knew the answer. But some other dude got it first and my hand in the air got me nothing. BUT, Paul McGuire saw my hand in the air and called me out in front of the entire bar to tell me that I was going to get the 1st crack at the next question…
My question, “Name 3 Dolly Parton Songs”. Now, I love country music, that’s an established fact. And I LOVE Dolly. But I don’t love being caught off guard in a crowd of strangers. So, I immediately spit out I Will Always Love You and 9 To 5 – but then I went quiet and couldn’t come up with number 3. However, I was saved by the crowd which included the adorable Kira Isabella yelling JOLENE at me.
The answer made me a winner of a prize pack that included Miranda Lambert‘s Four The Record, The Pistol Annies’ Annie Up, Jason Aldean‘s My Kinda Party and Country Heat 2014. But that’s not all. I also got a Jabra Soulmate Mini bluetooth speaker that will work with my phone or laptop or whatever I want it to. Not a bad prize. And thanks to Kira for the help.
Note: Bob Dylan wrote Wagon Wheel. I had the right answer.
Here’s the final skinny: the drinks were strong (rye and diet for me), the food was tasty (try the Pulled Pork Sliders and Jalapeño Bacon Corn Bread), the music was good, the bull looks fun, the staff were friendly and cute, the decor isn’t too cheesy and I enjoyed myself. I look forward to going back soon (maybe Friday) to see what it’s like with the public.
I do wonder what the pricing is going to look like for drinks and food since it was an open bar event on Wednesday. Remember that this is a downtown, Entertainment District bar. But overall I think that the Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon has a strong chance to succeed for a while and capitalize on the revitalization of country music and its current pop culture relevance.
The One Of A Kind Christmas Show & Sale has once again opened the doors with 800 Artisans from coast to coast. Trish and I checked out the show for 4.5 hours on Sunday… it sounds like a long time to walk the floor. And it was. But to get from aisle A to Z and stop for lunch, it took that long.
And it was worth it.
It was awesome to see old favourites like…
Rita and Nude Clothes (J3)
Dave Murray (E23)
Mad Batter Bakers (F43)
Coy Depot (T40)
and more, more, more.
And I don’t want to overhype this, but the smoked turkey sandwich from Pickles Deli in the food court was fantastic. Here’s a tip, tell the dude that makes your sandwich to make it how he wants it. I ended up with an extra pickle sliced and on my turkey. Very excellent.
Because my mom reads this thing sometimes I can’t tell you what I may or may not have picked up at the show. But I can tell you that I looked at a lot of ceramics and pottery. If you’re looking for mugs, vases, tea pots, plates and other assorted ceramic wares, someone has it at their booth.
This year my eyes got caught a few times by new and new to me booths too.
I really dug what Yasmine Louis (E4) has going on with her prints (pillows, t-shirts) AND you can find her shirts at Fresh Collective.
Gingerbread Studio (C36) was also awesome. I love streetcar art. A lot. And there is a great selection hanging on the wall. It made me wish I took 3 or 4 pieces home with me to hang up and give as gifts.
Coach House Shortbread (F20) has an excellent selection of sweet and savoury flavours. And I can tell you from experience that the original flavour is a safe and tasty bet. You won’t regret it at all.
Here’s the thing, with 800 artisans there are a lot of options. You’re going to have favourites that I missed. I’m going to love things that you miss.
But if you want a show, make sure you go see the dudes running the Pook and Hockey Sockey (C38) booth. They put on a show and offer some great Canadian mitts, hats and onesies.
And the cutest part of the day was most certainly the kids fashion show that we caught just as we arrived. An entire ton of adorable!
But it was worth it!
The Moustache Growers Union Local 416647 have had an amazing month if I do say so myself. As of right now our team has $4508 in donations submitted and I know that there is still more that will trickle in. In fact, there is an outside chance that we could get to $5000 which is far above any goal I set in my head when we started 2013…
To be honest with you, I’m a little emotional thinking about it. I am teamed up with 11 people who have fundraised and shared facts and spread the word and done a great job helping to raise awareness of Men’s Health initiatives. And while there are a couple members on our roster that I only know a very little bit, I love them all right now. That’s how I feel.
Side Note: I am also extremely proud of all of the 172,757 Canadian Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who have raised over 26 MILLION dollars this month!
As you all probably know, we hosted our 4th annual Movember Challenge Karaoke Toronto event on Thursday at The Winchester Kitchen & Bar. It was an absolute success.
We had a great turn out. Friends were in the room an hour before the show started. Jason Rolland (our friend and host and deserver of special thanks) started early and stayed late giving us 5+ hours of singing and money raising time. The bar staff were accommodating and friendly and fantastic. The challenges were flying, banned songs were sung and a very very special friend donated $100 just so make sure that nobody would sing Lady Gaga all night.
There were a lot of highlights and I know that everyone will take their own favourite moments from the show… but here’s mine.
All of this started in 2010 (which seems like a lifetime ago) with Sean and I sitting at Tequila Sunrise talking about Movember and karaoke and money ideas. Which is why my favourite part of the 2013 event at The Winchester was at about 1:30am when Rannie paid $100 to sing Celine Dion and put us over the $2000 mark for the evening. It’s a number I couldn’t have imagined in 2010. Sean and I looked at each other, shook hands and knew that we did good.
All said, with challenges, raffle tickets and other donations we came in at $2200 for the night. And for that I am thankful and proud.
Thank you again to all of our raffle prize donors: DE’BA Designs, Emily, Caplansky’s, Gluckstein Home, The Winchester, Jason Rolland, Fresh Collective, Mazz Salon, Rock Fitness, Jess, Rannie, Sean and more, more, more.
In 2010 we raised about $500, in 2011 we raised $1116, in 2012 we raised $1680 and now and in 2013 we raised $2200 to bring us to a 4 year total of almost $5500.
I’m blown away and kind of emotional thinking about it. We are part of a community that has come together and grown and shown kindness and generosity. Thank you all.
I can’t wait to start planning for 2014 and the anxiety and brain cramps that come with trying to find a way to raise even more money than we did this time. And I know that we will.
I love you all.
The 101st Grey Cup kicks off today at 6pm EST in Regina at Mosaic Stadium, and there are a lot of excited people in Southern Ontario and Saskatchewan.
I won’t lie, there’s still a big part of me that wonders what the hell happened last Sunday at the Rogers Centre when the Argos were up 24-10 at halftime and looked like they were ready to head to the prairies to defend their CFL Championship. But, that ship has sailed and now we look at the Roughriders vs Tiger-Cats match-up for the chance to raise the Grey Cup as the CFL’s best in 2013.
Before we get to my pick for the win and some props, let’s take a look at the weather because it is going to matter. The Weather Network shows that Regina is currently sitting at about -2 degrees Celsius, feeling like -8 with the wind. The evening forecast, the one that really matters, is calling for -4, feeling like -12 with winds at 40 km/h and gusts up to 65km/h.
It’s going to be a frozen field with wind that has a chance to mess up some of the passing and kicking game for both teams. However, it does not look like we’re going to get a snow covered field of the 101st Grey Cup.
Now for the picking!
The Green Riders and Ti-Cats met twice this season in weeks 4 and 5. In both games the Roughriders came out on top. In week 4 they shut out Hamilton 37-0 at home and in week 5 they won again 32-20 in Hamilton’s 2013 home of Guelph, ON. Now, that was a long time ago as far as the season is concerned. But, I think it matters. The Riders will come in with confidence and home field advantage which includes the most passionate football fans in the country.
It all adds up to this: I pick the Saskatchewan Roughriders to win the Grey Cup.
Bodog has the Roughriders as 7 point favourites going into the game. That line is only up half a point since mid-week and looks like it will stay where it is going into the game today. While I’m taking the Riders to win the game, it does have a chance to be close. You never know what can happen in the last 3 minutes of a CFL game. So taking the Tiger-Cats against the spread isn’t a terrible idea. Think about it.
And because this is the Canadian Super Bowl, we’ve got prop bets to look at, which is a lot of fun!
1. Will the team that scores first win the game?
2. The first score of the game will be: Touchdown, Field Goal, Single Point, Safety?
3. Highest scoring quarter?
4. Team points Over/Under, Hamilton Tiger-Cats: 23.5
5. Team points Over/Under, Saskatchewan Roughriders: 29.5
Good luck to fans of both teams today. At the end of it all, I’m hoping for a great game of football that gives us a champion without controversy and lets the fans celebrate…