Last week we checked out the new Take 5 Café in Gastown, now open at 62 West Cordova. It was a seriously rainy Thursday evening, but we made the treck to the modern new space to dry out, and enjoy some wine and cheese pairings, as well as some fabulous desserts, and great conversation!
We had the chance to speak with Take Five’s founder, Steve Punzo, who was eager to share his enthusiasm about the company’s growing new concept. Citing his inspiration from his trips home to Italy, Steve wanted to create an intimate space where his customers could enjoy themselves, relax, and enjoy an espresso or glass of wine if they pleased.
The concept wasn’t easy to achieve, Steve points out, with the company having to overcome strict city by-laws surrounding alcohol. But it was clearly worth the wait, and we could easily see other
copycats entrepreneurs following suit.
The new space marks the 10th location for the family-run company, and it’s the second to offer wines on its menu. With over 35 varieties available, and many on tap, it’s clear that wine is a not just a passion for Steve, but a love — and this new space conveys a strong desire to bring that to the forefront. Designed in an industrial, Gastown-friendly aesthetic of concrete and steel (designed by local firm Alda Pereira Design), Take Five’s approach to a contemporary ‘Italian-style’ wine cafe is indeed a refreshing addition to the neighbourhood.
Here, the idea is to sit, and stay a while — no matter the time of day. Gone is the idea of the quick to-go cup of joe (although that is of course available, if you want it!). Instead, the setting really invites the customer to unwind, and relax a bit.
It’s actually a really perfect spot for a rainy evening date. Enjoy one of their many Italian wines or craft beers, paired with your choice of five items from their cheese, charcuterie and antipati selections for just $12 — or how about a decadent desert for just $2.75? Our favorite (if we had to pick) was the Marshmallow S’more Brownie (above), which was stick-to-your-lips good. The lemon tart (below) was also pretty darn awesome.
The quinoa salad, above, was an unexpected treat. We’ve been wanting to try some recipes with quinoa, so this kind of piqued our interest. Highly recommended!
We particularly liked that Take Five kept their retail space clean and minimal. It definitely added to the contemporary look of the space, which we liked a lot. You actually kind of forget you’re inside a “chain” coffee shop, as they’ve clearly shown restraint with respect to logos and branding. Clean white cups, bold typography on their chalk board menus, and minimal SKUs focused on pour-over method products and DIY grinders offer an authentic, original feel to the space — perfect for Gastown.
Take Five’s Gastown location has a great team of knowledgable staff to help you learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about coffee… and wine too! Christina Rakic, the store manager, took time to tell us about their coffee, which is sourced from Oughtred Coffee & Tea, also a local family-owned company.
How cool is that light fixture?!
“Eat well. Caffeinate often.” We’d have to agree!
Posing pretty: Kelly J. Marion (@kellyjean247), Adrian (@foodgays), and Ariane Colenbrander (@arianedesign).
Take Five’s founder Steve Punzo, and manager Christina Rakic.
The entire team from Take 5 Café were a friendly group to chat with, and we had a really great time at the Media Launch.
If you’re looking for a relaxing spot in Gastown to have a nice lunch, a great cup of coffee, or a glass of wine (or three) — you should definitely swing by. We know we’ll be back!
XX – The Food Gays