Lakeshore Drive

Toonpunking is a social business. Deals are done over dinner; parties are an infiltrator’s bread and butter; and there’s nothing half as satisfying as a few cool drinks with the crew after a job well done. In this town, working and partying go hand in hand. Heck, some people consider you to be a weekender until you film one of your robberies and make a music video out of it. Whether you’re picking fights, popping caps, or just celebrating another night alive, you’re gonna wind up on the very same street: Lakeshore Drive.

LSD runs up and down the western bank of Lake Saskatoon, just past the bridges. Sitting right in the middle of town as it does, it gets business from all over—and oh, what a business it is. Here you can find world-class restaurants, dance clubs that re-define fashionable, and cocktails that’ll knock you flat. Every building on the boulevard is a monument to modern culture; and every inch of the street is awash in lights, music, and revelers. Try not to get dazzled.

Lakeshore Drive is a historic fixture of new Saskatoon, being the third neighborhood in the city to undergo reconstruction. In April 2043—a mere 14 months into the city’s cleanup—a group of local businesswomen established the Purple Hay bar, which remains the city’s oldest private business. Several organizations within the Morbux cartel anticipated that the city’s high ink level would bring a massive influx of inkish residents and industry; and by November of that same year, Croesus Construction had already bankrolled 6 new establishments and purchased a total of 18 properties up and down the beachfront. Today, Croesus still either jointly or entirely owns these properties; and over time they have come to include night life landmarks like the Ol In-Out club, the Blasphemous Arms hotel, and the 38000 casino.

Over the past 200 years, LSD has had an enormous impact on Saskatoon’s development. Its institution officially marked the beginning of the West bank as the “nice half” of the city; and it is agreed among the city’s realtors that a property’s distance from LSD can decide its value. Of course, it did just as much for the underworld: the Gambino mob was widely known (but never actionably proven) to use LSD properties as money-launderers until its recent dissolution. These days the businesses are all ostensibly aboveboard…but if you ask the right questions in the right places, you’ll find that guns and drugs still flow like water.  

The Purple Hay

Of the 1.16 million talking animals currently living in Saskatoon, 621 thousand of them were herbivores in their original incarnation; they run the gamut from bunnies to brachiosaurs, and they didn’t lose the taste for plant-stuff after they crossed over. Enter: the hay bar. Hay bars are one of the most popular venues in the modern day, and in largely-inkish cities can be even more common than their alcohol-serving counterparts. Hay bars server artificial food, usually made of shaped cardboard which has been marinated in artificial flavoring. The meals almost, but not quite, capture the taste of home. While they serve a wide variety of simulated food, traditionally their most popular dish is “hay”: shredded cardboard left to sit in some grass clippings. It’s cheap, it’s filling, and most herbivores find it edible if not exactly pleasant.

The Purple Hay is Saskatoon’s largest and most popular hay bar—as well as the oldest business in the entire city. It was founded only 14 months into city reconstruction, and more or less by itself caused Lakeshore Drive to become a premier entertainment destination. The Purple Hay drove Saskatoon in a million little ways; and it remains an important fixture in Skatcher culture.

The story of the purple hay’s founders is in itself an interesting one. At its outset, the bar was jointly owned by three local businesswomen: Kathleen deVere-Stark Jr, the synth-child of two influential Canadian news anchors; Cinnamon Swirl, formerly of the children’s program Rainbow Express; and Glimmer Heart, also formerly of Rainbow Express—and perhaps more notably, the twin sister of Snort and Whinny Armaments co-founder Twinklehooves. Kathleen was the primary investor, using a chunk of her family’s ample fortune to purchase the property and finance the operation. Despite the then-dubious legal status of inkmen, she was cautiously optimistic about the potential of an ink-driven business. The others—by then operating under the street names GHB and C-roll—oversaw the management and publicization of the establishment.

The Purple Hay proved to be extremely popular with the new locals of Saskatoon. Of the 2000 persons assigned to the city reconstruction initiative, roughly 900 were non-human herbivores. In 1 month, the Purple Hay had done just over 450,000 hands’ (adjusting for inflation) worth of business. Over the next year it became a significant addition to the deVere-Stark family fortune; but the club’s success had a knock-on effect which nobody had predicted: in 2044, the Canadian Department of Commerce published an analysis of the spending habits of the inkpersons on-site in Saskatoon. The paper showed that on average, inkpersons with regular income matched or exceeded the recreational spending of meatpersons, and most of this was done at the Purple Hay.

This statistic devastated the idea that inkpersons would not significantly contribute to the global economy, and immediately delegitimized the segregationist platform which was moving through parliament at the time. Today, pop historians commonly say that inkish citizenship hinged on the success of the Purple Hay; though it was in fact only one of several institutions cited. It is accurate to say that the Purple Hay popularized the idea of a hay bar; and its success directly lead to Kathleen Jr founding the enormously popular Cardburger restaurant franchise.

Smoke on the Water

Retro clubbing has been a fixture of social entertainment since just before the millenium; and nowhere in Saskatoon is it more alive than the Smoke on the Water Restaurant and Club. Founded in 2234, the SOTW has been downtown’s foremost hub of 1900s nostalgia for just over 70 years. The club, restaurant, and attached museum celebrate all things 1900s: segregated seating, Vietnam chic, swing dancing, arena rock, and more. Despite its limited capacity—with the restaurant being able to seat a mere 60 tables, and the club only allowing for ~2000 patrons at any given moment—Smoke on the Water remains a premiere destination for club kids, rich old dudes, and men about town. Unsurprisingly, it is hugely popular among Saskatoon’s inkish residents—being, after all, a love letter to the era in which most of them were drawn.

The club was initially founded as a joint venture between two local businessmen, and named “Club 20k”. It prized itself on its unique venue: the club was physically built on lake Saskatoon, and featured a plexiglass floor that gave patrons an impressive view of the lake itself. Sadly, the original owners of the building did not realize that glass-bottom venues are generally constructed in scenic venues—and the opportunity to look down into lake Saskatoon’s filthy trashfish-infested waters completely failed to attract business. After floundering for just under a decade, it was sold to the Hystorical Franchising Company.

Its new manager was Louis Eastman, the adrawpted son of Hystorical’s CEO; and under his leadership, the club found its footing as a celebration of 20th-century culture. In 2241 it changed its name to “Smoke on the Water”—which, although popularly thought to be a reference to the Jackson Grey dance hit from 2126, is actually the title of a rock song from the late 1900s.

Today, you can visit SOTW and enjoy a variety of attractions. In the daytime, you can visit their extensive floating museum of 20th-century memorabilia, which includes relics from the original Rock’n’roll hall of fame; a nose from Mt Rushmore; a real actual academy award; and a clone of 20th-century dictator Adolf Hitler. The restaurant features a 4-star kitchen staff, and live recreations of power players like Teddy Roosevelt, Weird Al, and Thomas Thunder. The main attraction, however, is the dance floor: a selection of neon lights and chemical dispersal units turn the grungy surface of lake Saskatoon into a psychedelic color-changing light show; and the club features performances and remixes of seminal songs from a diverse array of artists.

You might be wondering why WHEE are speaking of the place in such glowing terms. The answer is simple: privacy*. The Smoke on the Water Bar, which sits directly adjacent to the restaurant, is styled after a “speakeasy”. In the 1900s, alcohol was outlawed in the United States. A speakeasy was a clandestine bar, often set up in the back of a church or restaurant, which provided liquor to its customers. For the sake of authenticity, Hystorical redid the bar in the way a speakeasy would have been: closed stalls, wood panels, and a complete lack of CCTV. What this means is that the SOTW speakeasy has become an enormously popular venue for RCAAs in need of a safe and secure location to book contract work: if someone ever hires you to follow their girlfriend, or kill said girlfriend, or just kill all of said girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends, this is where it’ll happen.

*Also Hystorical gives us 500 CDs every time someone clicks through to the SOTW website from this page.