Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Coffee Bar Inc.

Cafe: The Coffee Bar Inc.
Address: 346 Front St. W
Phone: 416-792-8840
Store Hours: Mon-Wed 6:30 AM - 9 PM, Thurs-Fri 6:30 AM - 11:30 PM, Sat 7:30 AM - 11:30 PM, Sun 7:30 AM - 9 PM

Study Appropriate?: Yes
Wi-Fi?: Yes
Stamp Cards?: Yes


First Floor

Crossword available to play while waiting in line!

Second Floor


Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Soy and almond
- Will iced drinks for no charge
- Roasted coffee beans from Velvet Sunrise

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Yes to all
- Offers toast cups
- Sandwiches from Foodbenders
- Sweets from Cafe Novo (My review of the cafe here)
- Cupcakes from Bite Me Bakery
- A dozen Bite Me Bakery mini-cupcakes available for $15 and you can mix-and-match

Lavender Shortbread Cookie, $2.50

I Like It Raw, $1.50


Drink of Choice: Velvet Latte, $4.50

Food of Choice: Agave Espresso BBQ Chicken Sandwich

I had the pleasure to come in and review The Coffee Bar Inc. a couple weeks after its grand opening. The cafe is located on Front and Spadina, an area which is saturated with condos and commercial quick-serve restaurants. When I arrived, I was excited to find out that there were two floors to the cafe. There weren't many cafes out there that had a second floor, so The Coffee Bar Inc. was the first one I visited. I really liked the upstairs space, which provided comfortable couches and a fireplace. The cafe had a rustic modern design with some personal touches. The owner and her family own a farm and horses so their decor reflected that traditional barnyard feel. I definitely enjoyed a couple of the the plates they had on the wall! Another thing I thought was fascinating was that they collected wood from old barns and refurnished them into furniture. Each hand-carved wooden furniture had a name plate stating how old the wood was and where it originated from. They also have some fun art done by their barista (shown at the bottom).

When I spoke to the owner, Marie, about what inspired her to open up The Coffee Bar Inc., she told me she saw there was a lack of community space within the area. This is very true for those who are familiar with Front and Spadina. Most of the businesses nearby are fast-food joints. Marie wanted to offer a community space for the residents and so far she has been receiving great response!

I got to try a few items that they offer at the cafe. I highly recommend the Velvet Latte. It tastes exactly how it sounds, very smooth and great for latte lovers. I really liked the Lavender Shortbread Cookie from Cafe Neon, which I tried to savour but failed because I kept eating it until I was done. Also, I got to taste one of the mini Bite Me cupcakes for the first time so that was a threat as well! I think my favourite was getting to try the Agave Espresso BBQ Chicken sandwich from Foodbenders. The Turkish bread on the sandwich was absolutely delicious. I sort of wished that I asked for my sandwich to be heated up because I'm pretty sure it would've tasted ten times as amazing. So if you haven't tried Foodbenders' sandwiches yet, I highly recommend them! I can definitely see why they are becoming popular in cafes.

To involve the community, The Coffee Bar Inc. has open mic every Monday and Tuesday starting sometime in April or after. There is also yoga every Sunday morning from 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM and a 5K run club right after at 10 AM. For anyone who is successful in completing the 5K route (the route is different each time), you'd be able to get 50% off your Americano when you make your way back to the cafe. So definitely a great opportunity for you to connect with your community and have some great coffee!

Just to note, the cafe has no outlets available for any who plans on bringing their laptop to do work. The baristas would be more than happy to charge it for you while you wait but there are no outlets available by any seating areas. So if you are like me and have a laptop that dies after 10 minutes without being plugged in, I don't recommend you bringing it to the cafe.

Thank you to The Coffee Bar Inc. for the food and drink provided for this review!

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