Safehouse Coffee is an intimate, cool cafe at Dundas and Brock, near a ton of bars, restaurants and music venues. Locals will recognize the signage they've kept up above their window with their own painted sign, which many businesses are doing these days both to pay homage to what's come before and to create a cool contrasting look.
The signage above Safehouse is a mish mash of odd lettering advertising discount electronics, gifts and toys, and housewares. The windows here were always dingy and crammed full of weird old stuff, and owners Tyler Kostman and Chris Faria have done a complete 180 on the space with bright white design and a simple menu of great coffee and small baked goods.
They kept the original ceiling, a fabulously ornate Torontonian style that many renovating businesses discover. The wood for the bar countertop is reclaimed from a Quebec bowling alley. They put in cute hexagon tile and hardwood for floors.
They brew using Pilot beans exclusively, opting for their Brazilian Heritage roast for their main espresso.
Their feature espresso ($2.75) and drip ($2 - 2.50) bean rotates, and upon visiting I sample a simple black cup of a Costa Rican blend from Sumava de Lourdes farm, with silky flavours of fig and milk chocolate.
All their baked goods come from Desmond and Beatrice on Carlaw. This Charlie Parker bar ($2.75) is bursting with coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, and peanut butter.
Cookies are $2.50 and have fun stuff like Oreos mixed in, and they have muffins for $2.50 as well, including a vegan peanut butter banana option.
They stock Honest Leaf teas and Village Juicery cold-pressed organic juices ($11 - $13). I pick up some of Village Juicery's Be Radiant while I'm there, a blend of carrot, sweet potato, granny smith, and turmeric. They also offer complementary grapefruit water.
I love their wall of books and knick knacks, which both looks unusual and has some more interesting fare, like writing by Patti Smith and Rawi Hage as well as Magic Eye books.
Around the front window there's a live edge bar with a few stools. Near the back there's a bigger communal table, still only large enough to fit six or eight if you really squeezed. With WiFi available, I imagine it would be good for group projects or meetings.
Photos by Hector Vasquez