Hub Coffee House
Hub Coffee House on Dovercourt is what you get when you've cornered the market in a given neighbourhood. This just opened, second location to the Hub Coffee House and Locavorium on Shaw (near Dupont) is a testament to how the owners were a pioneer in an area where it had been tough to find a decent coffee, let alone a morning glory muffin. The Hub rectified the problem and became a beacon for the neighbourhood, strollers and singles alike enjoying the in-house organic baked goods and coffee.
Now, just a few streets over on Dovercourt at Hallam, once the location of the Dovercourt Cafe, you can find owner Lisah Smith and her partner Cyrus Lotfi purveying a slightly modified version of the first one. Oh, don't worry, they are still churning out the creamy lattes off the Brasilia machine ($3.60 for a double shot), and you can pick up their breakfast scone, changing daily (stuffed, this day, with tomato and dill or arugula and salsa) for only $2.75.
Enjoy the quiet serene room, complete with Smith's collection of Italian wood platters, Goodwill record covers and vintage landscape paintings on the walls. The cozy bench in the window was salvaged from a college bar in Hamilton, and though Smith has painted it a cherry red, you can still read the carved initials of drunken students of yore.
There is a whole college vibe to the place, with the mix of communal and deuce tables and free WiFi, you can imagine a computer on every table, young things in jogging pants holding cups of the delicious Dark City coffee, surviving on the buckwheat chocolate chip cookies, vegan and gluten-free ($1.25 each) as they finish that essay on Nietzsche.
It was quiet when I arrived but trust me; it's only a matter of time before the neighbourhood catches on. The cafe is open from Tuesday through to Saturday, 8-5, but will open the full seven days with extended hours when the spring transition is complete. Get there now, and be treated to Smith's warm conversation as she makes up a hot apple cider (small is $2.50, the large $2.95), and grab one of the sour cherry and cream cheese muffins for $2.25. I did.
Despite being totally delicious, something told me the muffin was healthful too - made with organic flour, cane sugar and GMO-free. The BOB (breakfast on a bun, $4) is also a supremely popular transplant from the original location on Shaw. No matter what you order, it just feels great to be in there - neighbourly, comfortable, just plain good.
Photos by Morris Lum