The Rooster Coffee House
The Rooster Coffee House opened in December on a sleepy stretch of Broadview across from Riverdale Park. Co-owned by Shawn Andrews and her partner Dave, they were surprised at how quickly their dream turned into a reality.
Packed to the high ceilings on the Saturday afternoon of my visit, it's full of people who treat it more like their living room than a cafe.
Comfy leather chairs are rearranged at will into more suitable positions for chatting, surfing, or playing the board games casually strewn about on the vintage luggage that serves as coffee tables.
Want to have an afternoon work meeting with some friends or colleagues? Pull up a chair at the huge rectangular table in the back. Stopping in for a quick cup on the way? Slide up to the bar seats at the window and gaze out over the park.
The Rooster Coffee House sells it's own specialty roasts, done to order by the artists at Te Aro. Here you can get anything from a standard Americano or make choice from their selection of custom blends like Atomic Rooster or Bold Beaver ($2.75-$4.00).
Not one to leave cautious neighborhood moms without options, Rooster offers an array of Tealish and kid friendly drinks -- including a surprising take on a hot chocolate, called a Toastee Almond Latte -- containing no sugar and steeped in milk. This, however, is not to be outdone by the killer hot chocolate, which certainly hits the spot.
The modern-meets-vintage design gives Rooster an elegant but comfortable vibe. Cut glass chandeliers hang over the modern counter, and old serving silverware provide places for dirty spoons.
The staff are incredibly friendly, taking special care to make each cup right, while chatting up the regulars who came in droves.
Shawn tries to emphasize locally made products, and it shows. She does live next door, after all. The treats on the counter come from a neighbor down the street, muffins, butter tarts and homemade marshmallows ($1.75-$2.50), while local artist Matt Durant graces the walls with his unique work.
It's clear Shawn cares in a way that's characteristic of a small town upbringing, attending to each and every detail -- right down to the dog mat and bowls out front, which are there because she feels bad they can't all come inside.
Rooster doesn't share the street with much, and that makes it the perfect neighborhood gathering spot. The view from its windows offers a spectacular vista of the city and front row seats to some wonderful sunsets.