Leslie is perpetually on the prowl, always hoping to hit upon an esoteric eatery, out of the way oasis or atypical amusement. She as also a fervent fan of her spirited sundry subscribers and of amazing abounding alliterations.
Published July 26th 2013
Welcome to the Blackout you'll remember
Until recently, if you lived on the North Shore and wanted a Lychee Martini, a scrumptious meal and some urban flair past 11pm, it meant a drive over a certain bridge. Worse still, it meant a drive back across the same bridge to get home. Thanks to Jason Gram and Mal Harpur, co-owners of the Blackout Cafe, that long ride home is a thing of the past.
Kerouac would have approved of The Blackout Cafe, with its bluesy-jazzy beat poet vibe. It's such his element that you can almost see him sitting in the corner with half-shut eyes, a cigarette stuck to his lip and his head nodding. You can nearly make him out but not quite because on any given night the place is packed. Not only has The Blackout Cafe arrived, it has caught on.
Most nights the room is buzzing with friends catching up, couples on dates and folks meeting for the first time at the bar. The room becomes fully awake on Monday nights by 8:00pm. That's when The Blackout Cafe welcomes local singers and songwriters to try out their newest creations on a live audience. On Tuesdays, The Blackout Cafe hosts an open mic night that begins at 9:00. Everyone is welcome to find out just how fabulous they are. So, have a couple of Chardonnays and give it a go. On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday nights live music usually begins at 9:00.
Jase and Mal have put a great deal of thought into each charming aspect of their establishment. The simple but delicious menu is no exception. I can wholeheartedly endorse the zucchini flowers with goat's cheese, tomato and basil for a great starter and there are no bad pizzas. If you want to finish the night with a sweet treat, I suggest the "Dessert Platter of Decadence". Featuring double chocolate slice, Strawberries Romanoff, espresso ice cream and chocolate truffles, what is not to love? If you plan on visiting on Monday, though, be forewarned that the full menu is whittled down to pizza and chips.
There are two seatings each night for dinner. The first is at 6:30 and the second is at 8:00. The Blackout Cafe is an intimate setting with seating for only about 70 making table bookings absolutely essential on most nights. If you find yourself in the neighbourhood though, head on over. There's usually room at the bar for one more and there's no cover for all that great entertainment.