The Many Colour's Of The Black Donkey

By Frank Peebles on September 19 2016

The Black Donkey Café is the downtown eatery you can really use. When this restaurant has themes and promotions, it is almost never about the food on the menu or the hot beverages on the feature board. Their themes are about activities. Owner Chris Blackier recognized there were plenty of places to go and eat things. Few of them offered a place to also do things. Music, art, games and entertainment are on the Black Donkey menu, and they are usually free of charge.

It starts working on your senses as soon as you walk into the aromatic corner café at 3rd and George. Paintings and photographs populate the walls and ceiling. Tables double as game stations for chess / checkers, snakes and ladders, etc. Over in the far corner is a small but busy stage where musicians and deejays often hold court, often spontaneously. It is a key Pokemon Go destination as well.

So instead of Meatloaf or Minestrone Monday, patrons get Magic Metal Monday which pulls the Magic: The Gathering card. There are open mic concerts every Friday, Thursdays alternate between synthesizers and salsa dancing. Wednesdays are for karaoke, Tuesdays are for tabletop games, etc. “Saturday and Sundays we generally leave open for public use if anybody wants to utilize our space free of charge,” Blackier said.

Then there are the special events. The Black Donkey has hosted concerts, live painting, Dungeons & Dragons playtime, Blackier and some artist friends created an outdoor mural that doubles as a projection screen for outdoor movies and dance parties, even a night market.

“My main priority is to bring awareness to the fact our downtown needs a little bit of work and it’s going to come a lot quicker as long as we continue to keep a positive influx of pedestrian traffic and other events.”

It’s also a bright spot after hours. When almost everything is closed for the night, this café keeps the latte on until the wee hours, adding one more interactive layer to this delicious sandwich. The pulse of downtown Prince George kicks like a black donkey.

A2016Norm Coyne