Rockabilly Rock is a Lou (Luigi) Gigi Xaini's latest venture. You may remember him from his first foray into the Toronto cafe scene, Cafe 163 or his second hot spot Saving Gigi. While considerably smaller (and I mean smaller!), Lou's newest offering at the corner of Davenport and Oakwood packs a huge punch.
Step inside this 200 sq. ft. cafe and you immediately get a sense of Lou's personality: bold, conversational, and friendly. Every inch of the space is dotted with nostalgia, from the antique cash register to the gyrating Elvis hanging from the ceiling. With only two tables and a few chairs, the space should feel cramped, but instead it has the vibe of a cool apartment.
Lou's 30 years in the coffee business means that you can expect a good brew. Beans direct from Italy and a grind that's entirely determined by the weather, everything here is made with the slow deliberation a good cup deserves. If you're curious about how to make one, he's is only too happy to let you peek behind the counter as he provides an impromptu lesson on the fine art of tamping.
Open for only two months, he's excited about the location. You almost don't expect to see a cafe here, let alone one with so much personality. But it's a busy corner with lots of traffic whizzing by, so it might just be a good fit.
Once inside, time moves a bit more slowly. While cardboard takeout cups line the shelves, you can't help but want to sit, stay for a bit.
If an Americano and a cupcake (both $2) don't hit the spot, you can choose between one of a handful of sandwiches made to order, like a Daddy O's Ham, or a Jerry Lee Bacon (most are around $6). Vegetarian options are also available, along with pastries, shakes, floats and smoothies -- all of which grace the chalkboard menu above the counter.
Rockabilly Rock is open 6 days a week, Monday to Friday 7:30-6 and Saturday 10-5.