A hidden spot. Really, not kidding. In fact, it is tucked away behind graffiti-ed, wooden sliding doors with no written signage that a Jazz cafe lies beyond them when closed. Chances are you might walk by once or twice before you find it. I did.
Now, not quite a poetry cafe, nor a cafe for that matter, this small lounge tries and succeeds in outdoing and stepping beyond the dozens of dive bars Kensington market is known for.
The cafe inspires an unpretentious vibe thanks to its intimate, casual decor and dim lighting. The menu has a healthy number of options with a pint of beer going for as low as $ 4.20. The musicians normally will play in the ‘courtyard’ up front near the sliding doors so you can pick a seat that best expresses your mood. Up in front where the action is or at the back, which allows for livelier conversations. In fact, Poetry Jazz Cafe reminds me of some small cafes you find in Paris… but sadly, not so much in Toronto.
Expect live performances every day it is open. From Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blues and even Disco (sometimes), you will find a monthly rotating repertoire of musicians who will call The Poetry Cafe their home away from home while they entertain you with their melodious and in some cases, experimental beats.
Just remember, take a quick look at their website in order to plan your visit and don’t forget to check their even more secluded back patio.