kx coffee bar toronto

Toronto luxury gym surviving lockdown by transforming into a coffee shop and market

After two years of searching for a space and extensive renovations, KX Yorkville was rearing to open in spring 2020—but within months, the gym was forced to close. 

The nine-year-old boutique gym, which relocated from its original Yorkville location last year, had to shutter the doors of its Davenport facility during Ontario's first state of emergency. It's still waiting to reopen. 

kx coffee gym toronto

KX Yorkville moved from its original location to Davenport Road in 2020. 

The only thing keeping the business afloat right now is KX Coffee Bar: the cafe which gym founder Adriano Martorano decided to launch right before the pandemic hit. kx coffee gym toronto

KX Coffee has been keeping the business afloat while the gym remains closed during lockdown.

"It was almost a god send," said Martorano. "We were able to still somehow keep our head above water—which is an overstatement—but more importantly keep our brand alive."

kx coffee gym toronto

The cafe offers its own beans and coffee with shavings of chocolate frm ChocoSol on top.

Located at the front of the 4,000-square-foot space, KX Coffee Bar is now the main focus of the KX brand, serving cortados and freddo flat whites for takeout. kx coffee gym toronto

Prior to the pandemic, KX Yorkville offered one-on-one 12-week programs. 

The gym's dumbells and equipment, reserved for KX's signature 12-week one-on-one training programs, lay in wait until lockdown is over and working out resumes once more. 

kx coffee gym toronto

KX founder Adriano Martorano envisions the brand to encompass all aspects of lifestyle, not just fitness.

Martorano says he always intended to offer coffee and wine program ("There are benefits to having wine," he says) at KX.

Visions of charcuterie boards with venison, smoked trout, and cheese were part of the plan too. 

kx coffee gym toronto

Charcuterie boards and a wine program will be available for dine-in when health regulations allow.

"As the summer was coming, we had a patio, and we were really getting ready for that wine bar experience," says Martorano.

"Our main artery, the gym, was severed, and that's really what was the importance of allowing us to float the coffee and wine bar."kx coffee gym toronto

KX has pivoted entirely to its cafe, bottle shop, and market while its gym remains closed.

But with dine-in banned, everything was reduced to takeaway only.

The cafe came first, then the bottle shop, offering a list of about 20 organic and biodynamic wines averaging around $50.kx coffee gym toronto

The cafe also offers food like sandwiches and supplements.

That was followed by a market concept inside the cafe.

Drop in today and you'll be able to shop a whole list of essentials: bottles of 53 Acres maple syrup, loose leaf teas, ChocoSol chocolates, supplements, pounds of ground bison, and bars of Corktown Soap.

kx coffee gym toronto

Find pantry goods like maple syrup or essentials like soap at the KX market.

KX Coffee Bar has also partnered with local restaurants like Il Covo, who has co-created eats like a sous vide turkey breast sandwich and chicken broth. Martorano says the options are expanding. 

"You walk in and it's a one-stop shop," says Martorano. "It's a grocery store within a coffee bar...You don't need to go anywhere else."

kx coffee gym toronto

You can shop a selectio of organic and biodynamic wines in-store or online.

As for the gym component, Martorano says they're looking forward to when they can start bringing in clients again. 

The space has a brand new HVAC system, plus the front of the building is a garage door that opens up to the street, for additional ventilation.

kx coffee gym toronto

Gyms across Toronto are waiting for health regulations to allow clients inside for workouts once more.

It should be easier for KX than other large gyms, since it was already operating on an appointment-only basis. 

"We're excited to bring back that social aspect to human beings," says Martorano. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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