If you like seeing the world come and go, traffic pass, and dumbass drivers at a simple intersection nearly kill bicyclists, pedestrians, and each other, and occasionally a car or truck drive straight into what your brain tells you should be the business next door but is actually an alley that continues Elm Street, grab one of the four stools at the window counter of Jimmy’s on McCaul, if you can get one. Be aware that on a bright day you may get eyestrain if you work on your computer there.
If you want to sit on a comfy padded vinyl bench with your computer set on a tiny round marble table that is great reading height but perhaps uncomfortably high for typing (I’m doing it anyway), only because the bench is so low, grab one of the four spots against the wall directly opposite the espresso counter here, if you can get one. Three of the spots have decent access to wall-mounted plugs. You will barely be able to fit both your coffee and your computer on the table, and when it gets busy people will brush past so close you might worry about things being knocked off, but you get to see all the people that come and go, and a few times in an afternoon about eight people will all arrive within a few minutes and make a brief rush. Then it will go back to normal.
If you want a normal-sized wooden table to work at, there’s one up a flight of three stairs in the back with six functional chairs around it. Across from it is more seating with some low tables. There’s a little room in the back as well.
Jimmy’s is more visually engaging than many coffice spaces. There’s a band of stained glass above the big picture window. The pressed-tin ceiling is painted black, as is the wall behind the espresso bar. That wall also has the menu and an enormous chalk drawing of Jimmy Carter. The facing wall is bare brick. The back has a pale blue theme going plus a wood floor to contrast with the big square tiles in the front. Even the tight, turny little stairwell down to the washrooms is somehow more picturesque than most.
This place has a real Jimmy theme going on in the décor. Along with Carter there’s Hendrix and a few others. I can’t say for sure whether they Jimmy-theme the music, but I do hear at least one song by Led Zeppelin (featuring Jimmy Page) pretty much every time I come here.
I’ve been coming here fairly often for quite a while, and I’ve avoided doing a review of it just because it’s busy enough as it is. Honestly, half the time I come here it’s too full to find a place to sit and work. But it’s worth coming by in case you can get a spot. It’s nice, the baristas are nice, the customers are scenic, the coffee is great. And if you don’t get a spot, there are several others within a couple of blocks – I’ve already reviewed five of them.