Sunday, August 7, 2011

Plan B

“We’ve tried to create a space that’s bright and cheery; that’s eternally summer, even in the middle of winter,” says manager and partner, Kate Hardy. And in Toronto, where winter does frequently drag on, it makes good sense.  While not your traditional coffee shop, Plan B, is a fun addition to the neighborhood and worth the short meander up from the bustle of the Queen East cafes.

Not familiar with Plan B?  It’s that shop at the corner of Dundas East and Logan with the bright pink Vespa, the hot lime green, lounge chairs and the great name; at least for anyone who has apprenticed in the arts and then found themselves rather broke around the first of every month. The whole enterprise was dreamed up by Chris Willets, whose ‘T-ShirtGuys’ has been holding down the same corner for the last 8 years.

With Kate, formerly of Red Rocket Coffee, on board, Plan B now manages to offer coffee, flowers, baked goods, candy and T-shirts and actually make it all work. It’s less a stop for the coffee purist, and more a great place to chill over a latte or cappuccino, meet a friend and maybe learn a thing or two about fresh cut flowers. Even if you’re just browsing, Kate is sure to have a good tip for you, like “if your tulips are drooping, drop a couple pennies into the vase and they’ll stand up straight.”

The design of  Plan B is eclectic, with lots of bright, 60’s pop influences, a couple antiques mixed in, some rustic country silver birch and run of white picket fencing bordering the flowers. There’s also an excellent community board loaded with notes, numbers and pics from various folks in the neighborhood. An ipod mix of great late 70s classics via the Clash and the Buzzcocks played in the background during my visit; tracks like... ‘Lost in the Supermarket’ and ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.’

Plan B’s coffee is procured from an excellent local roaster, Mountain View Estates Coffee and is %100  organic and fair trade. Their Espresso, $1.25/$1.99, is a Peruvian, Nicaraguan blend. Their drip, $1.50/$1.70 is a Peruvian, Honduran medium roast... No extra charge for soy.

There is a selection of loose leaf tea, $2.19, from Metropolitan Tea Company. Baked goods are  from Desmond & Beatrice and include scones, cup cakes and cookies. Try the all day breakfast sandwich; ham and a poached egg, oozing with cheddar, on a scone. It’s tasty and filling and only $5. or $6 with a small coffee…

As they head into their second summer, Kate’s aim to provide a great environment with great service is humming along smoothly. Plan B is pet friendly and frequented by Chris and Kate’s affectionately, extroverted, 11 month old Golden Doodle, Ben. The staff is super friendly, the patio is quiet and relaxing, and the café is a feast for the senses. Drop by and enjoy!

Summer Hours – Mon.-Wed. 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.,  Tues.-Sat. – 8-8,   and Sun. 9-5

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