Hitting up GENE Coffee Bar
Charlie and I ventured out last week to GENE Coffee Bar. This delightful café is on Main Street, I guess between Chinatown and where we live in Fairview. Is it Mount Pleasant? I've lived here for 5 years and I'm still not totally versed on the neighbourhoods. I'm almost certain it's Mount Pleasant since Charlie pointed out the Mount Pleasant Library across the street and told me I need to go sometime.
According to their website, GENE believes that the perfect day begins with a cup of coffee shared with your closest friends and families. Unfortunately that hasn't been possible for many of us over the past year with COVID-19. I do agree with them though, and I'm lucky to have someone at home that I can share my morning coffee with.
It was around 11:30am when we ordered. An Americano for me, ginger cocoa for Charlie. I found myself dissociating quite a bit while our drinks were being whipped up. It was just the two of us in the café. GENE looked kind of like a crime scene, after the cleanup, sanitized from every angle. No tables, no chairs. Just one island at the back of the store with two staff members behind masks taking orders.
I felt as though I was inside a hospital, or perhaps in a fish tank, looking out into a bizarre unknown world. My mood shifted entirely.
It was my first time at GENE, and I just felt weird, cold, uncomfortable, entirely out of place. Charlie assured me that it's never been like this before. He said it's always warm, inviting, thriving with individuals sitting behind their laptops working, sipping their drinks for extended periods of time. Sometimes there's even line-ups out the door.
Unfortunately today, there are no customers ahead of us, or behind us.
It's incredibly sad to see what this pandemic has done to our once thriving local businesses. I feel heartbroken by this and I wonder if things will ever return to how they were before.
I do hope so, because the coffee at GENE was absolutely lovely.
"We will all smile together again soon", says Charlie.