Arvo Liberty Village
Arvo has been serving up good coffee and community in the Distillery District since they opened in 2016 but for their Liberty Village location they've added a huge patio and wine to the mix.
Caffeinated drinks and brunch options are available during the day starting at 8 a.m. Then the Liberty Village location turns into a full wine bar right in time for happy hour Tuesday to Saturday.
The modern and minimalist cafe on the ground floor of a five-storey building is worlds apart from the historic feel of the first, with no exposed brick in sight.
Universal Music Canada headquarters share the space, so you might hear musicians rehearsing through the walls while ordering your java.
Justin Carriere started Arvo after a four-year stint of studying and working in local coffee shops in Australia. But not without his old cafe regular-turned best friend, Edward Kuo, a longtime businessman and recent sommelier in training.
The Aussie-inspired multi-roastery always carries a Canadian, Australian, and one other international roaster at one time, primarily using Phil and Sebastian, roasters from Calgary.
A brekkie roll ($11) with eggs, peameal, aged cheddar, slow-roasted onions, pickles and fermented chili mayo is the perfect sidekick to a morning coffee.
Blackbird croissants and danishes are also available on the weekend while scones, biscuits and cookies are made fresh by local pastry chef and baker Manal Bashir throughout the week. The berry brown sugar scone ($2.75) is especially memorable.
Once clocks strike 5, coffee is traded for wine with Kuo around to head up any inquiries when it comes to the winemakers from around the world.
With the same wines by the glass on the menu as in the bottle shop inside, it's a try before you buy sort of deal. We go for a local orange, Therianthropy - Mouflon from Creemore (glass: $16, bottle: $66) that's dry, yet fruity.
The Falesco Le Poggere - Est! Est! Est! (glass: $10, bottle: $45) is another one we try from Malvasia in Italy. You can't find this complex three-grape blend at LCBO.
The full wine selection can be found inside.
A rotating selection of craft beers is also kept cold. Matron, Fairweather and Blood Brothers are just some of their staples.
You can order a plate of three cured meat ($32), which includes capicollo, bresaola and Iberico soppressata. It also comes with Blackbird sourdough, homemade giardiniera and fermented grainy mustard on the side.
Similar idea, the cheese plate ($24) features three rotating kinds of cheese. On the day of our visit, the trio includes Drunken Goat made from goat's milk, Mont-Jacob from pasteurized cow's milk, and the funkiest of the bunch, a gouda from north Holland.
There are also a few sandwiches left on the menu for the wine bar like hot porchetta ($12) that gets porchetta, manchego, fennel mostarda, arugula, and a creamy garlic mayo.
The Deli sando ($10) is a spinoff of the Distillery's signature sammie featuring mortadella, salami and prosciutto, manchego, giardiniera and grainy mustard mayo on a soft bun courtesy of Blackbird.
Arvo in the Liberty Village is worth a visit whether you're popping in for a morning coffee or taking a seat on the 38-seat patio for a sip of wine. Just let your friends know to meet you in the arvo.