The Hot Box Café isn't the only joint in town that allows ganja to be consumed on the premises. Open a year and conveniently located next to Queen's Park, Kindred Café (7 Breadalbane, at Yonge, 416-920-0404) advertises itself with a nudge and a wink on its website (www.kindredcafe.com) as a spot "for those interested in a higher level of café enjoyment." And they're not talking sky-high pie. The first-floor, side street resto looks innocent enough, a chicly appointed coffeehouse equipped with the latest high-tech espresso machines and presses. The organic fair-trade house brew packs a considerable buzz, but wraps like smoked turkey, havarti and chopped lettuce in a pita, sided with dilled red-jacket potato salad and purple tortilla corn chips ($7) taste like their components came directly from the nearest Rabba deli counter.
"We're almost normal," laughs Kindred day manager Brandy McAllister .
Upstairs it's a different story. Those who've purchased a membership ($5/day, $20/month, $100/year, half-price for Toronto Compassion Centre members) have access to Kindred's exclusive rooftop patio. There, patrons are permitted to smoke whatever they like regardless of city bylaws, although I imagine they'd draw the line at smoking a ham. For $10/hour, members can also rent one of three "meeting rooms" on the second floor decked out with leather couches, LCD TVs, sound systems and Xboxes.
Across town and a couple of doors down from Carbon Computing, Clandestiny (768 Queen East, at Bolton, no phone) is about to become Toronto's third marijuana café. Currently a clothing shop specializing in hemp wear, the east-side storefront will soon launch a lounge in its back room that will feature an all-hemp menu of sprouted salads and special baked goods. And if that's not enough to cause the giggles, proprietor Puff Mama also plans on regular comedy nights.