Vancouver Coffee Scene Update Fall 2014

Coffee lovers have a number of new Vancouver cafes to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. If you haven't been keeping up with all the rumours and construction updates, here's a quick recap of what to expect.


Capping off a busy year with several new cafes in the city using their coffee beans, Elysian Coffee has landed a new space at 4 West 7th Avenue. With almost 5,000 square feet of space it will give Elysian a permanent home for their roastery and a new commissary bakery for their cafes. And they will also have a full-service coffee bar out front and with construction well underway expect them to open in a few weeks.

Next from Calgary is Lukes General Store which entered Vancouver earlier this year with their pop-up coffee bar in Chinatown. They've secured their own permanent space at 49 West Hastings Street near Save-on-Meats and one big change will be to their coffee program securing San Francisco's Four Barrel Coffee which will be their first wholesale account in Canada. The cafe will also carry a selection of doughnuts from Cartems Dounterie. Look for their cafe space on the main floor with their retail component located in a mezzanine level featuring a new vinyl records section along with all of the favourites from their pop-up including Juniper Ridge, Mast Brothers Chocolate and Malin + Goetz Apothecary.

Yaletown will be the new home for Small Victory Bakery at 1088 Homer Street that sounds like it will have a promising coffee program. Espresso drinks will be made on their Kees van der Westen Spirit and the pourover coffee also will also have a beautiful presentation with a set of of copper and black walnut stands and copper kettles brought in from Toronto's Monarch Methods. Small Victory has lined up Phil & Sebasian Coffee Roasters for their espresso drinks along with a variety of Canadian roasters for their filter coffee. The identity design for the bakery is being handled by Glasfurd & Walker and the interior is being designed by Campos Leckie Studio including an installation from Ricky Alvarez/Tinto Creative.

North Vancouver's Moja Coffee has released the first few details on their new cafe on the north end of Commercial Drive that will begin construction in a week or two. Look for an amazing design for their new coffee bar with Moja bringing in Boor Bridges Architecture which has worked on numerous Bay Area cafe projects for Four Barrel, Ritual Coffee and Sightglass Coffee. From the design sketches of their new space look for a return of their original Probat roaster for on-site roasting and two espresso machines including their Victoria Arduino Athena Leva. And expect one more big surprise for the cafe to be unveiled soon.

Chinatown until recently was devoid of any good places to find a decent cup of coffee, but another new cafe is opening in the area with Propaganda Coffee at 209 East Pender Street. While details are still under wraps the rumours sound promising including something not seen in any other Vancouver cafes before. They started building out their space at the end of August so expect to see them open in a month or two.

Bump N Grind will be opening their second location with a new cafe at 3010 Granville Street taking over the space from a tea shop in South Granville. They expect to finish construction on their new cafe within one or two months. They haven't announced any details on the new cafe but look for them to continue with a selection of coffees from various Canadian coffee roasters like at their Commercial Drive cafe including Fernwood Coffee, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and Timbertrain Coffee Roasters.

An old favourite on Main Street for over twenty years, Liberty Bakery at 3699 Main Street will return in October under new ownership with Vancouver artist Rodney Graham and two partners taking over the business earlier this year. They are completely renovating the space and look for coffee from Matchstick Coffee Roasters with espresso drinks made on their black La Marzocco FB/80.

A staple of farmers markets Purebread Bakery is opening their first bricks and mortar location in Vancouver at 159 West Hastings Street. Look for Stumptown Coffee to be served like at their Whistler location along with a huge selection of baked goods. They expect to open sometime in October.

Look for a new cafe at 692 East Hastings called London Fields Shoppe from the founders of Got Craft? with their new cafe serving up coffee and a proper slice of cake. In the longer term, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters will be adding a new South Cambie location with an opening planned for mid-December at 3399 Cambie Street. Oldhand Coffee is on the hunt for a space in Abbotsford for a new cafe/bakery headed by some Vancouver coffee industry veterans. New Westminister will also get a new cafe that is looking to open in October with Old Crow Coffee Company at 655 Front Street. They are looking to use beans from two coffee roasters in their cafe. Riley Park will also be getting a new French style bakery and cafe at 3958 Fraser Street called Batard Boulangerie and Cafe Moderne. No word yet on their coffee program.

Lawrence Lee