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Cafes

Kensington's Espresso Bar

Posted by Staff / Posted on January 5, 2011

Kensingtons TorontoKensington's Espresso Bar sits at the southeast corner of Kensington and Baldwin and proclaims to have the best coffee in town. While that may be overstating it, they do have plenty of seating and lots of snacks and food including lunch and breakfast options.

Discussion

6 Comments

gwen / June 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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On June 27, 2012 at around 10:30am, my spouse and I were shopping in Kensington market and stopped into Kensington’s (79 Kensington Avenue) to buy a drink and my spouse also needed to use their restroom. After I purchased a cold drink and we politely asked the person (named Marco) behind the counter to push the button to open the washroom door for my spouse, Marco shook their head and pointed at me and told us that the washrooms were for customers only and that I (a white woman) could use the washroom but that she (a black woman) could not.

When we explained to Marco that my spouse and I were together and that I wasn’t using the washroom, he still shook his head, emphatically stating, ‘no’. After some time, Marco finally relented and buzzed her in – quite unhappily. Marco waved his hand, scowled and spoke out angrily.

While my spouse was in the restroom, I spoke with Marco (calmly and respectfully), asking them to explain their actions. Marco’s immediate response was they ‘weren’t being discriminatory’. Given that this was the first thing Marco said when I asked why they were treating customers in this way, Marco’s reasons for denying the use of a restroom to a customer are glaringly obvious.

This unacceptable and problematic behaviour was (and is) discriminatory and racist. Given that this is the kind of business that Kensington’s is running – Marco told me that they are the manager - I urge all to avoid this establishment. And please spread the word.

-Gwen
Julie B. / July 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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This place is to be avoided. Their "food" is inedible. I wish it would go out of business and make way for something decent on this prime corner of Kensington Market. It's got cleanliness and food handling issues too, failing a public health inspection last week.

Kensington's Espresso Bar
Inspected on: July 19, 2012
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
Number of infractions: 10 (Minor: 1, Significant: 6, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Failure to protect food from contamination
http://bit.ly/PEbKDD

Avoid like the plague!!!
L / July 26, 2012 at 02:17 pm
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I used to live across the street from these guys for years, and avoided being a customer there because the owner is just awful. A friend from out of town managed to drag me there one morning to have breakfast, despite all the other amazing options in our neighborhood, and the food was absolutely disgusting and overpriced. If you want to spend your money somewhere respectable please don't go there! businesses like this that don't care about their customers, and deserve to be shut down...

On that note, another bad place to spend your money is Cora's a couple of doors down the street... although she makes decent pastries, she is a terrible business owner and doesn't pay her staff properly. I know of a number of people who have been owed upwards of a thousand dollars in back wages before having to quit and fight for their pay. so insane!!!
Jim Conchie / August 9, 2012 at 07:32 pm
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Not quite a review, but more a simple explanation of why I will never go in this dive again. Everything in the other reviews is true.....rude aggressive owner, surly...probably because of owner and bad pay....stale overpriced baked goods and, sorry, but the coffee sucks.
My first bad experience, a couple of months ago, was when I went in and asked the owner for the $3.99 breakfast special....which, suddenly became a $4.99 special. The explanation? "We do our eggs over easy....sunnyside is extra. I couldn't believe my ears, so I asked the obvious question: "you are really going to charge me a dollar for NOT turning my eggs over" "yes"
At that point, I left.

Today, I walked in and didn't feel like their terrible coffee, so asked for a diet coke.
Scowling young woman behind the counter "Is that takeout, or for here?"

My obvious question: "Why? is there a difference in the price?"
Young woman. "Yes, its $1.85 if you drink it here and........"

I never did get the take-out price, I was already out the door.

Speaking of doors, this pit needs to close theirs......and the owner needs to go back to his former trade of of torturing birds and small mammals
Tanyaa B. / March 2, 2013 at 09:52 pm
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I can't believe how rude the staff is! I have a 4 month old baby, and had just changed her diaper (emergency!) in our minivan parked in the garage down the street. I walked into Kensington's Espresso Bar and explained that I had just changed my baby and asked if I may wash my hands in their wahroom. The young lady behind the counter quite literally snapped at me "CUSTOMERS ONLY!". I offered to purchase a coffee but apparantly it was too late, because she warned me that even if I bought a coffee I still couldn't use the washroom because they were broken. What a horrible little place staffed by the most horrible staff I have ever met! I would never spend a penny at the Kensington's Espresso Bar, and hope it goes out of business soon.
Eliza / March 14, 2013 at 07:38 pm
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Horrible place.
I'd always seen this place and wanted to try it despite the fact that you can clearly see that the prices had been increased on the signs outside (you can still see the previous price underneath). I went inside to order and noticed the all day breakfast special. Apparently if you want your eggs any way other than over easy or over hard it's extra.
I realized at the end of all this why they make you pay before eating... so you don't have the option to leave.
Rude owner.
Over priced, small meals.
Horrible service.

Would never go back!

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