The days of visiting Toronto‘s Village Idiot Pub are over because the owner of the establishment — a staple in the Village by the Grange for more than 30 years — has changed its name.
“I think at the time. I felt it was a great name,” said Atef Girgis, who chose to drop the pub’s old moniker and rebrand the business.
“We’re living in a different time than five to 10 years ago. Maybe the humour is not there, or we’re changing our attitudes and becoming more conservative. I don’t know the answer, but I think it’s not politically correct as much as it used to be.”
As a result, the Village Idiot has now been transformed into the Village Genius. The pub’s rebranding includes a new menu with a cover bearing inspirational quotes and decor that features framed photographs of famous geniuses from around the world, including Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla.
“We should move with the times and try to look for new things to do and new things to see and talk about, and what’s better to talk about than geniuses?” says Kevin Girgis, Atef’s son and general manager of the nearby Town Crier Pub.
The Girgis family owns four establishments in the area and Kevin helped to roll out the Village Genius’ rebranding.
Although its name has changed, if you look closely there are still pieces of the pub’s past hanging from the rafters along with shirts bearing the slogan “a good pub could not function without an idiot.”
While the pub’s owner is pleased with the change, some patrons expressed nostalgia for the old name.
“I suppose we could use a little more genius in this world, but there is something very charming about a village idiot so I am kinda mixed about it,” Deanna Schwarz said.