Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Paddlewheel at the Bay, Queen of my heart

Big announcement today assuming you are part of the senior set or in your thirties with a bizarre sense of nostalgia.

Paddlewheel Dining Room

They are going to close the Paddlewheel restaurant at the Bay downtown, this makes me more than a little sad. When I was younger my mom worked downtown, in Eaton Place. As a special treat, every now and again she would let me play hooky from school and she would take me downtown and we would have a day on the town. Because of this I have many fond memories of downtown, the giant chess board in the basement of Eaton Place, the magical teeny tiny little bottles of pop that they had in the basement of Eaton's (the whole smell of the basement of Eaton's actually), a stop at Orange Julius or at the Malt Stop in the Bay were for special drinks and lunch could be had at the Paddlewheel. In Jr. High the black and white photo booth in Eaton's basement was always a must-do.

I love The Bay downtown almost as much as I loved Eaton's. How, as you take the escalators up they get skinnier and skinnier and look like antiques by the time you reach the top floor. I wish I could spend some time in all those back rooms and hallways at The Bay - all those windows that you can't see out from the inside must have a view! As the absolute most random thing you will hear all day, did you know that the ladies bathroom on the second floor has ladies urinals??!! Well, I hope they are still there, back when I was a teenager that bathroom when on forever - there was a section of toilets that went all the way to the outside wall, those were the first to get blocked off. Then, it was the middle section that got blocked off - that's where the urinals are. Now I think there are only like 3 stalls left, although the rest of the bathroom is still big enough to play a game of football in.  Being the strange girl that I am I did actually get a photo of the ladies urinals (and may have snuck a guy friend into the ladies room when I was in high school because he didn't believe me, and it was waaaaaaaaay before the days of the instant gratification of digital photos) and I will try to remember to scan it one day so you'll all believe me too.

While I'm going down Bay memory lane, at some point in Jr.High we had some loss prevention officer (or something, who the heck remembers exactly now) come to scare educate us about the evils of theft or overpriced clothing (seriously, just wait a week and it'll be 25% off all --------------) and told us how at The Bay they had secret rooms with two way mirrors where they watched for shoplifters. Now, perhaps not the best thing to tell a bunch of teenagers, but whatever... it didn't encourage me to shoplift but it did become a game to try to find them all.

I haven't been to the downtown Bay store since they added the Zellers, I don't think I'm quite ready to say goodbye to the old Groceteria yet - the memories are too fresh. I hope the Malt Stop is still there.

1 comment:

  1. This is sad news. I remember as a child eating there with my mom and sister, usually around Christmas time, after shopping for holiday gifts. I wonder if the closing is effective immediately? I would love to go there one last time for nostalgic purposes.