I received some very upsetting news during this week. The Beaconsfield, the bar where I basically spent my 20s, was closing. It was all so sudden that I didn’t know what the hell was happening. I found out that the building had sold and the staff, all of whom are my friends, were informed on Wednesday that Thursday night would be the last night that Beacs would be open. Not only are the staff members my friends, but the manager, Dahna, is one of the three people in the world I refer to as a 「best friend.」Although some would argue that you can only have one single best friend, I have lived so many lives in my time that I qualify to have more than one, but I’ve gotten sidetracked.
Dahna is not only the manager of the Beacs, she and her husband also live above the bar. Throughout our entire twelve years of friendship she has lived in one of the two apartments above the bar. Some of my fondest memories and most incredible times were spent in that building, whether in the bar itself or in one of those apartments. I live very far away, but it makes it even less real. In my head I am trying to imagine a Toronto without Beacs and it just doesn’t seem to compute. It’s home. I learned to pour drinks there, how to do cash-out as fast as possible, and how to balance being crazy busy while still socialising and being all around good to customers (every so often I was enlisted to cover shifts or help out.)
Most importantly, though, it was the place where I created and fostered some of the most important relationships in my life, that are lasting through the test of distance and extremely different timezones. There was, and always will be, something magical about The Beaconsfield and it is a great loss for the city of Toronto. I am devastated that I was not at the final night. It just doesn’t seem right.
The massive changes of West Queen West since I began working at 69 Vintage at 22 (I think…?) are shocking. Last time I visited Toronto it looked like a different neighbourhood. Change is inevitable but this is some bullshit.
The best comparison I can make to the Beacs is the Cheers from the the eponymous program. Farewell, Beaconsfield. You truly changed my life and I will forever be thankful.