A popular hair salon, Ergys Studio, near Eglinton Avenue West and Bathurst Street, used COVID-19 closures to transform its waiting room into a cafe and cocktail bar.
Customers and passers-by can come to Ergys Coffee till Cocktail for a latte and croissant or an Espresso Martini – their specialty – in this new location tucked away behind the popular lounge, a mainstay of the neighborhood for six years. Much like a speakeasy, Ergys Coffee till Cocktail has a low-key alleyway entrance and owner Ergys Tafilica has done minimal promotion, preferring to keep things on a “if you know you know” basis.
Originally from Albania, Ergys had dreamed of adding a European-inspired cafe and cocktail bar to the back of his living room for years, but struggled to find the time to bring those dreams to life as a salon owner and master stylist.
“COVID forced me to slow down. So, I had all this time and I decided to go. A lot of companies have downsized during this time, but I have grown and it has worked so far, ”he says.
During what looked like endless closures for personal care businesses, Ergys began renovating the space once used as a waiting room for hair clients, getting a liquor license, and remodeling the a place in a place where people can come and slow down, sip their drinks and connect with each other. Adorned with red and black leather furniture and a well-stocked bar emitting neon blue light, the space has a warm, mid-century modern vibe with neutral wood accents. A few evenings a week, a Spanish guitarist settles down, creating a true European getaway in the heart of Toronto’s Upper Village.
On your morning stroll, enjoy the usual coffee offerings like cappuccinos, matcha, and cortados. There are also freshly baked pastries like croissants and biscotti up for grabs, made daily by Ergys’ sister-in-law. If caffeine isn’t your thing, they also have a menu of freshly blended smoothies for a healthy start in the morning, with protein and nut butter supplements to keep you going throughout the day.
At night, you can sit down with friends for the usual haunts on the cocktail menu like Old Fashioned’s and Margaritas, or try something new like the French Martini, made with vodka, black currant and a splash of juice. pineapple or white Cosmo, a fruity blend of peach flavored vodka, triple sec, simple syrup and white cranberry and lime juice. Peckish ? While Ergys plans to expand the evening menu in the future, for now, you can still snack while sipping on small plates like charcuterie boards and fries and guacamole.
Ergys’ goal was to create something upscale, a space that didn’t compete with the big local cafes and a bar that didn’t try to produce long lines at the door. Privacy, comfort and quality come together to create a charming place to sit quietly and read or socialize with friends.
“My goal with this space was to create something intimate and warm. As a European, coffee is something you slowly sip from a cup, not take out cups. It’s time to meet friends and connect and that’s exactly the environment I wanted to create here.
Stop at 1005 Eglinton West seven days a week. Hours are Sunday to Thursday at 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.