Far Coast Cafe
*Update: Far Coast is now closed! Fans can find them nearby inside the Varsity cinemas.
After running into construction delays that prevented them from opening during TIFF, Coke's Far Coast Cafe finally served its first cup of java this weekend. After reading St Dan's review on Friday I decided to stop by today and take some photos.
The first thing that struck me is how huge and lush the cafe is. Located in the old Sporting Life building, the Far Coast Cafe occupies two massive stories (with a third floor reserved for office and storage space). Even as busy as the cafe was today, there was no shortage of comfy lounge space. The typical Starbucks looks small and shabby in comparison.
There are also a lot of surprising touches like free games, a kids area and one of the nicest washrooms on Bloor Street, all which seem to indicate Coke has done its research and is serious about entering the latte fray.
Here's a photo of the kids area on the second floor, stocked with a full supply of crayons:
This is a photo of the order counter. I tend to agree with St Dan's review that the pod system is a little too downmarket. It takes the romance out of the experience and left me feel like by drink had been McDonald's-ized. Don't expect any latte art here.
A view of the second floor:
Coke uses a really nice colour palette throughout the cafe. There's not a hint of Coke branding anywhere. Here's a look at some signs which indicate the variety of tea and coffee selections available:
More design elements to set the mood:
Outside the cafe:
Heading into the cafe I was handed this map. Coke has produced a map highlighting some Toronto neighbourhood tours and has included a tool free number to hear a bit of an audio tour. They're fairly short and uninspiring (definitely no City Surf ) but it's still a pretty neat idea and one a bit unexpected from Far Coast Cafe.
Far Coast Cafe, 95A Bloor Street West