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Vintage Toronto Ads: Discover the Mug

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Source: Tribute, Winter 1982.

It’s December 1982. You’ve planted yourself in a seat at the York cinema on Eglinton Avenue, arms loaded with popcorn and soda for fuel while watching Sir Richard Attenborough’s epic biography of Mahatma Gandhi. As the theatre fills up, you flip through the issue of Tribute devoted to Gandhi that you picked up on the way in. The short cast bios and puff pieces don’t hold your attention long, so your mind drifts elsewhere. You observe your fellow moviegoers, none of whom appear interesting or seem like they could be potential cause for concern during the movie. After polishing off your Coca-Cola and long before the trailers start, you flip through the magazine again to keep your hands and mind occupied. While turning the pages, an ad catches your eye, though you’re not sure what draws you to it: the young server with flowers in her hair and a burger platter in her hand, or the mug filled with a healthy-headed beverage that may or may not be alcoholic. Mental note to self: suggest The Mug to your friends as a place to go after Christmas shopping at the Eaton Centre?
And then the movie begins…
Postscript: By the end of 1985, The Mug appears to have evolved into the J.J.Muggs chain. Of the locations listed in this ad, 500 Bloor Street West currently houses Aroma Espresso Bar, while the 1 Dundas Street West branch awaits its reincarnation as Toronto’s second Joey Restaurant. The next feature at the York will be a 3D showing of My Date With a Wrecking Ball, as the building (later used as an event venue and fitness club) will be demolished to make way for a condo.

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