Sometimes, ideas cooked up in a bar take time to surface. Two years ago, Grand Electric co-owner, Ian McGrenaghan, was too busy to think about anything but getting his hipster taco Mecca in Parkdale up-and-running. So when server Samantha Chang-Gardner floated the idea of making a calendar that featured the staff, he and his business partner (Colin Tooke) shelved it. As McGrenaghan remembers: "The idea was awesome but we needed an angle."
More recently, with Grand Electric and his newer venture, Electric Mud BBQ, running smoothly, McGrenaghan and Tooke finally had time for a "fun pet project." They reached out to ReThink Breast Cancer because they liked their "quirky approach to fundraising," and enlisted Chang-Gardner to help rally their team to get sexy for charity.
The result is "It's Electric Time," a limited-edition poster calendar (snaps by Jim Norton, design by Matt Howe) that features Grand Electric and Electric Mud BBQ's female staff and lampoons beer advertising. As McGrenaghan says: "We're fairly known for having cool and attractive people working for us. The whole schtick of beer ads is kind of the same as the restaurant(s): Sexy but hilarious."
To ward off any accusations of sexism, McGrenaghan is quick to mention: "If this one works out, we're thinking of doing one with the guys." The concept: Dress them up like "cheese-ball Latin soap opera stars, leaning against trees in a field."
The charitable calendar launches February 15th at The Baitshop, from 7-11pm; twenty dollars includes admission, a copy of the calendar, and an open bar, featuring beer by Great Lakes Brewery and Wild Turkey bourbon. After the 15th, they will be available for $20 at both Electric restaurants and all proceeds will go to ReThink. McGrenaghan singles out March as his favourite month because "it features our happiest staff member, Kyla, and our funniest, Aidan."