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Dec 22, 2009 05:01 AM

Bulldog Coffee Toronto - A lot of bull, not a lot to write home about

This is the last time we go to Bulldog Coffee. We had stopped going there because of the attitude we got from the owner and his staff. One of the things that they will ask you to do when you are done is to pick up your dishes and put them in the tray (and ONLY in the tray, or you WILL be humiliated). This is not a casual thing that happens every once in a while. You are being monitored and policed so that the moment you get up and they notice you are about to do the unthinkable and leave your dishes on the table, they will give you an indirect order to do so (form the tone of their voices, it becomes obvious that they are not really asking you, they are TELLING you to do so or else). This is not the only issue with the owner and the staff: customers are snapped at for leaving loose change as tips (!?) or told that they “need not come back” (??). The owner seems to have this idea that he has the inherent right to domesticate (i.e. discipline / sometimes abuse) his customers, and appears to have trained his staff to do so as well. One thing is for sure, we are not picking up our dishes and taking them to the tray for the $15 we paid for two small coffees and two scones.

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  1. i usd to love bulldog, but when they started laughing at my friends for what they ordered or drinking their coffee too slow i stopped going there. I've heard the same from everyone i know, anyone who goes there is disgusted by the service and won't return. Strange how they have changed so much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TeRReT

      What is this, Starbucks served Terroni-style? It's too bad the downturn hasn't put these jerks out of business.

    2. Perhaps Bulldog is trying to model itself after The Elbow Room in Vancouver.

      1. That's too bad -- I met the owner a few years ago and he was really nice. He explained how a really good cup of espresso is made. It was delicious coffee (among the best I've had in the city) and he was obviously passionate about his java. I really liked the look of the place as well but since I don't live nearby I have not been back in some time.

        1. I couldn't agree with you more. I used to live just down the street and the absolute arrogance showed by the owner, and this was before R.M. went in and gave it the two cent facelift, was simply overwhelming. While I am not a fan of the chain coffee shops, I would gladly switch to drinking tea at home full time if the Bulldog was only place in the city to grab a cup of coffee.

          1. I've found with Bulldog the owner is decent but it may be you aren't 'gay' enough for the scene, it seems to have gotten attitude'ier over the last while...
            On a side note i have found the service at Cherry Bomb on Roncy pathetic as well...
            i find the service to be extremely snooty and kinda standoffish so I avoid and hit Lit where they don't have laughable attitude

            3 Replies
            1. re: dannyboy

              I haven't noticed any attitude at Cherry Bomb even when I ask a million questions. I really detested the espresso/latte at Lit and haven't returned despite their great atmosphere.

              1. re: Food Tourist

                I have, I've been snipped at because I wanted 1% milk, and as well because i didn't tell them quickly enough what size i wanted.
                Lit has 100x better espresso, the guy has actually put in his time to hone his skills and has excellent beans he sources himself....cherry bomb is a bunch of wanna be arty fartsies, little style, no substance

              2. re: dannyboy

                I go to Cherry Bomb about 6 times a week and have never had bad service from anyone, including the owners and the entirely different weekend staff. It's consistently one of the most pleasurable transactions I have.

                But I just read your comment about them being wannabe artsy types so I guess you're going in with a preconceived idea looking for attitude and when you look for it you usually see what you want to.