Zoots takes a little bit of magic and a lot of soul to create the intriguing mix of a cafe winning hearts in Dundas West. Owners Melanie and Shawn combined their passions to open a place that offers great bevvies and food - not to mention board games, art, vintage clothing (if you know where to look) and a healthy dose of whimsy.
The spot was partly inspired by Melanie's old workplace in Detroit (also called Zoots) which was located in the Cass Corridor, an area famous for producing artists like The White Stripes. The now-closed cafe used to see a mix of the rock and electronica scene drop by to play music, drink coffee and pass time; this eclectic mix of art and coffee continues with Zoots 2.0. Melanie's partner Shawn is the bean guru, and his love for magic adds design elements to the decor - dig the logo!
Tucked away in the back is Melanie's studio and showroom for Melanie's Closet, a vintage shop moved from 829 Dundas St West. In the main room, cozy tables house couples playing Battleship and soon, a special-made chess table will accent the space. The owner of Monkey's Paw will soon lend a selection of their 'old and unusual' books to the vintage book shelves left over from the building's previous owner.
And how about the FOOD! Fantastic pastries provided by Clafouti, bagels by St. Urbain, tempting baked goods (oh my god, the buttermilk cran cake) by local bakers Feed Your Body and Queen of Hearts. A fantastic mint brownie (2.25) made with spelt flour - not that I could tell. Sandwiches that made me wish it was dinner time. Locally-provided loose leaf teas and organic, fair trade Dark City Coffee beans. "We don't use an over strong, trendy espresso," says Melanie. "It's a European medium roast - it's meant to be smooth." And fie on latte art!! One day you may see the staff wearing t-shirts that say "F*ck Latte Art" - Melanie says she can layer and show off once in awhile, but doesn't really give a hoot about it otherwise.
Monday - Friday (7-7)
Saturday - Sunday (7-9)