After a season-to-date of excellent service at Cafe Diem, Oliver and I fell into a hole of inattentiveness this evening when we stopped by for an after-supper bit of dessert: we sat outside, and dutifully waited for a server to take our order — just like the sign says. And yet, despite at least two and perhaps three servers swirling around us, and many “we’d like to order now” looks their way, we were ignored.
After ten minutes of this we decided we couldn’t take it any more and we got up and left.
The fire of disgruntle burning inside me, I decided that this would be the day I plucked up my courage and went inside Just us Girls, the coffee shop cum trendy urban boutique located just around the corner on Queen St.
To this point a combination of fear of disrupting a private inner sanctum combined with a latent fear of suave young women had kept me away from the place. The promise of a refreshing sounding agua fresca on the sandwich board, combined with the aforementioned fire in belly, and reassurances earlier in the week from Catherine that, despite the name, men were welcome too, was enough to help me overcome all that.
On an evening when Prince St. is coursing with beer-fueled shirtless young men looking to bust heads, Just Us Girls turned out to be the perfect place to hide out: the likelihood of teen youth gangs breaching the gauntlet of pink underwear and dayglo sandals was extremely low and we were in what amounted to the safest place downtown tonight.
The agua fresca was indeed refreshing, Oliver’s strawberry smoothy was similarly so, and the warm brownie we split (and devoured in about 35 seconds) was excellent. The service, suave though it may have been, was kind and helpful. And the men’s washroom (yes, they have one) is quite striking, and has a chair inside the stall which is pretty helpful for fathers of newly-peeing children. Given my earlier preconceptions, we couldn’t have felt more welcome.
Just Us Girls isn’t for everyone; but if, like me, you’re never going to feel comfortable at Bobby MacMillan’s and you’re looking for a place to hide out, it fits the bill pretty well.