Voodoo Child was created, says co-owner Scotty Daté, to offer "superior quality." Recently opened, and announced street-side by a sandwich board, the barebones wood interior is immediately eye-catching. "We're doing things simpler," he says, nodding to the menu board of basic espresso drinks. "But offering a really good product, made by superior, creative people."
Those creative people include Aidan Pascoe, chef and former owner of (the now closed) Liberty Belle Bistro, and Bruce Ly who is known for his fantastic latte art, and whom I first met while he was working at Bulldog Coffee on Eglinton. Scotty actually worked for Aidan over at Liberty Belle in Liberty Village, while Bruce was recruited specifically for this gig.
Voodoo Child is a joint venture by Scotty and business partner (and realtor) David Rad, who jumped at the opportunity to occupy this College Street spot when The Bean cafe closed up shop. Together, the duo are hoping to foster a multi-purpose, multi-faceted space, which will soon host brunch and lunch, as well as private events and evening cocktails. And, of course, superior coffee.
While snacks right now are limited to homemade banana bread and other baked goods, Aidan says that larger meal options will soon be on the roster. "We haven't nailed it down exactly," he replies when I ask about the menu. "But it will be fun and different — not just croissants with ham and cheese."
Voodoo Child will also host special nights for local chefs to come out and showcase new recipes from its behind-the-bar kitchen, which will all be paired with Voodoo's soon-to-come list of signature cocktails. "We have a great collection of teas," Aidan says, referring to the cafe's list of Sloane Tea Company options. "And we plan to use many to craft some beautiful cocktails."
Since it's not quite five when I drop by (not even close), I stick to espresso and order a strong Americano ($2.75) made with Te Aro's Big Bro blend. Served in a shallow mug, the drink has a rich, nutty taste on first sip and a lingering dark chocolate finish.
It doesn't look quite as impressive as Bruce's impeccable latte ($3.75), but it certainly satisfies my espresso craving. "We're focused on that extensive attention to detail," Bruce says as he shows off his tulip-pouring abilities. "That higher standard."
Brunch and lunch menus should roll out in the next coming weeks, but for now, Voodoo Child (which, if you haven't guessed by now, is owner by huge Jimi fans) is serving espresso and snacks from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Photos by Jimmy Lu