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If you've been to Farside Bar in East Chinatown, you already know about their deep love for all things video, with VHS tapes scattered across the space and weekly movie screenings offered via the bar's projector (during non-pandemic times).
The bar has now made a unique pivot that is quite unlike any we have seen from other bars and restaurants during this unexpectedly difficult year -- they have turned into a video rental shop. Over the past few months, the bar has been operating its patio and offering drink deals and a casual, relaxed outdoor space for people to safely hang. Despite that, times were still pretty tough for a small bar that previously relied on packed indoor crowds occupying their space, so Farside came up with a plan of action to adjust their business offering.
Last week, the bar announced their official foray into the old-school video rental industry, offering visitors over 100 titles to rent on VHS as well as (very necessary) HDMI-compatible VCRs to play them on. Members can enjoy rentals and place requests for their favourite flicks from their collection of over 5,000 tapes, which have been gathered at the bar over the years from donations and thrift finds. There are various membership options to choose from, ranging from $5 for one video, one night to $40 for three tapes, a VCR for two nights and popcorn. Bonus: you can grab takeaway beers from the bar while you're at it to make it a boozy movie night at home or even add a pint of ice cream from Ed's Real Scoop.
Choose from a variety of classic and retro movie titles, plus comedies, sci-fi and even "special interest" tapes, all of which will make you feel nostalgic and offer something that you just can't get from the streaming services of 2020. And don't worry -- they are still offering a full bottle shop so that you can get all of your movie and beer needs met, even during lockdown.
In response to the 28 day lockdown, Farside has moved all of their offerings online. You can now browse their catalogue of VHS tapes online, as well as their beer selection for curbside pickup. You'll be helping them to remain afloat during these hard times while helping yourself to a highly entertaining old-school movie night at home!