It always amazes me that restaurants and cafes stay in business when the proprietor is A. unfriendly, or B. unwelcoming. The few times that I have gone into Saving Gigi, I have been less than impressed by the attitude that seems to permeate every square inch of the place. There’s a trickle down effect on the customers too, who, different from other espresso refueling stations around Toronto, sneer when asked to share their coveted table. To be fair, I used to live in the apartment upstairs during a dark period of my life, and there is the potential that I could be projecting unhappy memories on the space. But really, is it necessary to make a customer alienating, outdoor voice announcement, with extreme avoidance of eye contact, that the cafe will be closing prefaced by: “For those of you who haven’t been here before and might not know what this song means, you’ve got half an hour”?
Saving Gigi has one saving grace… the little things. A collection of green glass bottles is charmingly chilled and at the ready to serve with your Americano. Above head – big, airy, white paper light fixtures sway gently in the breeze from the ceiling fan creating atmosphere and softening edges. The colourful cushion covers strewn across the window benches sparkle in the sunlight. It’ll do for a Saturday afternoon of career exploration and municipal government musings with friends.