Atelier Cafe Lounge
Atelier Cafe Lounge is in the midst a branding overhaul and is hoping to emerge as a daytime meeting space for King West designers, people in finance, and budding young entrepreneurs. In the space formerly occupied by Spice Safar, Daniel MacLean walks me though his vision for the daytime cafe, which will transition to Atelier nightclub in the evenings as it has before.
"We want to get a 42-inch plasma and put it there," he says motioning to an area of wall about the familiar leather banquettes. "So you can set up your business meeting, presentation with a client or whatever, and we'll get that all set up for you."
Atelier also has free WiFi and lots of outlets (MacLean makes a point of mentioning that they're never covered up), and also has a projector available for use. "It'll all be free," he continues. "All you need to do--I'll have my BBM pin out there--is send me a message and say 'Hey Daniel, I'll be there in 20 and I have a client with me.' So I'll put a little 'Reserved' sign on the table and be ready to bring you your drinks when you come."
"So," I say, as the concept begins to click, "like bottle service for the daytime?"
I was intrigued. Though not sure about how I felt about the prospect of doing a presentation from a 42-inch screen likely visible to most of the café, finding an ideal spot for a coffee meeting has always eluded me. If it isn't spontaneous vomiting from a screaming child, it's the unavoidable elbows in crowded spaces, or the leering eye from loitering-wary owners always weighing on the interviews I try to conduct in public spaces.
"Also, everything on our menu is under $10," MacLean continues. "So an Atelier meeting won't cost you nearly as much as a meeting over lunch."
Atelier is stocked with lots of baked goods, including Conviction Kitchen pastries and treats from Bunner's Bake Shop, which are vegan and gluten free. Its coffee is made with a signature fair trade Las Fincas blend, offered as latte ($4) (soy, almond, or lactose-free milk available, +$0.50), drip ($1.25), espresso ($2.21) and more. Atelier also has hot cider ($3.19), matcha lattes ($3.19) and a variety of teas from Tealish.
My latte is incredibly creamy, slightly bold for my taste but very delicious. And of course, I can't resist a double chocolate chip creamie (whoopee cookie) from Bunner's.
MacLean hopes to open the patio in the next couple of weeks and offer iced teas (with or without a shot of Grey Goose, since Atelier is licensed) and maybe even weekend BBQ brunches. Karaoke nights are also on the radar. But for now, it's strictly business, and of course, your daily morning fix.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak