Seriously, Toyland? My, how the fledgling have fallen.
Since wunderkind managers Erin and Garrick were forced out by their silent partner in a behind-the-scenes powergrab back in December, Toyland has gone from a great neighborhood bar to an overpriced embarrassment. The mysterious new owner decided to make some changes, only one of which was positive. He smartly erased the hubris-induced $65 New Years Eve admission price (a club Toyland certainly isn’t), but unfortunately it didn’t stop there.
Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Also gone is the specialty drink menu, the solid food menu (ruined), and all the prices were raised. For being the only place around (4th and H, NE), one would think Toyland would want to bring them in from blocks around with great deals and stellar service.
But if you order their $11 burger and you want the luxury of french fries, you have to pay $2 extra. Cheese is extra too, bringing the cost of a mediocre cheeseburger and fries at a neighborhood bar to $14. For that price, you can get a vastly superior burger at Smith Commons.
The service has taken a dive as well. It’s almost as if they don’t want business. We came in one day recently and sat for nearly 10 minutes before anyone came over to take our order, and the place was mostly empty. Since the burger was too expensive to justify ordering, I went with the grilled italian sausage. Once our order was taken, it took 40 minutes to get our food. Oh, they literally brought me lukewarm hot dogs. Enough said.
The chill neighborhood vibe that managers Erin and Garrick worked so hard to craft has been virtually erased. Yelp reviewer Peter L. says “ Walking past there feels like visiting a crime scene, with the chalk outlines of its victims still faintly visible on the floor through the plate glass windows” . Well illustrated. It’s been a real shame to see a place with such potential go so far downhill.
I predict Toyland will be closed by the end of the summer.
Guest written by Joel Church.