Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Bag Lady Variety and Café



The Bag Lady Variety and Café (Take Away)



By BRYAN LAVERY
The Bag Lady is a funky retro café, variety store and take away located in the heart of the Woodfield neighbourhood at the corner of Pall Mall and Maitland Streets. Owner Jane Beattie’s initial vision was to sell nutritious, gourmet brown-bag lunches to busy downtown London clients. She soon realized that she needed premises. Beattie had a vision for her brown-bag lunch business and purchased the old Maitland Variety, which quickly metamorphosed into The Bag Lady Variety and Café. Beattie moved upstairs over the storefront, which has allowed her to be totally hands-on.
The Bag Lady quickly became a unique neighbourhood destination, and its followers and success can be attributed mainly to great word-of-mouth referrals raving about the quality of the food and the nostalgic nature of the décor and ambience. The store/café also features a street-side garden patio for al fresco dining. The kitchen prepares interesting house-made soups, sandwiches, burritos, seasonal salads and brown-bag lunches-to-go at the back counter. The café is known for its brownies and made-from-scratch desserts.
The café has a kitschy, quirky retro 1950s and 60s vibe, Formica tables and chrome chairs, a plush red velvet couch, and matching chairs. There is an unobtrusive water closet in the middle of the premises. The turquoise walls have shelves lined with nostalgic food products (Cheez Whiz and Chef Boyardee), vintage books, LPs, board games, cookbooks and various knickknacks for sale. The walls are lined with clotheslines sporting vintage-inspired aprons produced by a small local business called Weezi, which designs clothing for gals with an independent sense of style.
An all-day breakfast menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays.  The café serves fair trade coffee, espresso and cappuccino sourced from Las Chicas del Café. The Bag Lady Variety and Café is truly an original. The Bag Lady is also well-known for its catering.



474 Pall Mall St., at Maitland
519 642 42222
Monday to Friday 7:30 am - 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 2 pm







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