"Revolver is about two things: Coffee, and the experience that should go with it."
After gutting their space in a historic Gastown block that last operated as a deli, Revolver Coffee focused on building a cafe experience centered around the design, service and of course the coffee.
The room takes advantage of the heritage space's high ceilings and exposed brick walls complimented with rich brown woods for the counters and table tops along with steel fixtures and wire mesh safety glass. The coffee bar extends down the left side of the room and is the perfect stage for the coffee making process. While the other side is flanked with booth seating with a white wall covered by a mural of three world maps created using thousands of nails.
Revolver's coffee menu works with a selection of coffees from roasters across North America including: Bows & Arrows, Heart, Matchstick Coffee, Phil & Sebastian and Ritual Coffee for both their espresso and brewed coffee.
Espresso drinks get prepared on a Victoria Arduino 388 Black Eagle and pour over brewed coffees on Chemex coffee makers. They also have a bunch of alternative brew options available on request which cumulates in a brew flight option on the menu with a single coffee prepared using three different brewing methods.
Baked goods are baked at their sister cafe Crema located in West Vancouver and brought in every morning with a selection of croissants, muffins and cakes.
- The cafe is located in the Horne Block at 313 Cambie Street which was built in 1890 and is a three-storey brick building. If you look closely at the exposed brick wall in the cafe there are strips of wood embedded every few feet that would have been used as nailers to secure the interior lath and plaster walls.
- The interior design of Revolver's space was completed by Craig Stanghetta who's work can be seen around Vancouver at places like Bao Bei, Meat & Bread, Pidgin and Homer St. Cafe & Bar. In a profile for WE Vancouver, it noted that the design of the cafe worked around the former use of the space as a typesetting shop. Revolver's identity design was created by Post Projects which included their logo and typefaces used at the cafe.
- Opened September 2, 2011.
- If you look at a map of the area around Revolver, you'll find the layout of the road abruptly changes at Cambie Street. The change was due to the meeting of the old 1870 Granville Townsite (Gastown) and the new road Vancouver network that was planned out by the Canadian Pacific Railroad's land commissioner L.A. Hamilton in 1885. There's a plaque dedicated to Hamilton on the old CIBC bank near the cafe at 300 West Hastings for his work creating the Vancouver road network. The site was the location for the first stake used in Hamilton's land survey.
- Revolver uses no ceramic cups in the cafe instead choosing to serve drinks in glass Duralex tumblers. The French Duralex Picardie was first introduced in 1927 and later incorporated the tempered glass in 1939 which was patented by their then parent company Saint-Gobain.
- The wall installation in the cafe is made up of three maps of the globe made up with over 15,000 steel nails created by Vancouver artist and designer Ricky Alvarez. The copper nails used in the piece denote regions of the world where specialty coffee gets produced and those regions also get featured above the coffee menu with sixteen regions and countries listed around the Revolver logo.
- Another unique historical feature of the Vancouver road network is found near the cafe. The road on Hamilton Street next to Victory Park is lined with granite blocks that were used to give more traction for horses climbing the steep hills. The blocks were used on several roads in the area including Homer, Richards and Seymour. While most of it has been covered in asphalt you can usually find some uncovered sections due to weathering and traffic.
- The non-descript white concrete building at the corner of Cordova and Cambie built in 1968 was originally known as the CN/CP Telecommunications Building. CN/CP was a result of a merger between the telecom arms of the two Canadian national railways which got their start operating telegraph networks along their rail networks.They later were major players first with a telex service and using their rail line right of ways to create major broadband lines across the country. The building still houses Allstream which was the result of several corporate reorganizations of CN/CP Telecommunications.
Revolver Coffee | revolvercoffee.ca | 325 Cambie Street, Vancouver, V6B 1H7 | 604-558-4444
Monday to Friday 7:30AM - 6PM
Saturdays 9AM - 6PM
Social, Links, Interviews
Zero Distraction: An Interview with George Giannakos of Revolver
"I look at the design and layout as inanimate bodies that silently speak of what we are always trying to do – that is to connect all the dots and provide a whole and complete experience."
Montecristo Magazine: Vancouver’s Drip Coffee Naissance
The Facing Page: An Interview with Revolver’s George Giannakos
"Being current, not in a trendy way, but just keeping it current and very coffee focussed. I spent some time working as well in a cafe in Montreal we’ve taken some influence from there too – particularly in the service style: it’s less like a cafe and more like a bar. Sort of a more interactive design."
Georgia Straight: Vancouver’s standout baristas keep passion brewing
"During the course of running the café, he’s been humbled, measuring and timing everything for consistency and even obsessing over the direction of a cup handle when the drink is served."
The Artful Desperado: Revolver Cafe Vancouver
Clean Hot Dry: Revolver
Word of Mouth: Revolver Coffee
Montecristo Magazine: Designer Craig Stanghetta
"Elements readily considered pedestrian, such as security glass or an array of mismatched knives, find an unexpected elegance in a new context. Stanghetta’s talent lies in his ability to create a room that is “a simple extension of the person or people that own [it],” he says."
Treasures & Travels filmed a short video at Revolver with an introduction to some common espresso drinks: