Chinatown might not be known as a hotspot for coffee, but that could be changing with the arrival of Café Bonita as soon as one week from now.
Two of Bonita's three owners are already familiar with the hood: Rafael Hernandez and Geoffrey Moreau opened La Capital, a taco spot on St-Laurent, about a year and a half ago. They're joined by Karina Kwong, a designer making a foray into the cafe world. Bonita will be situated just around the corner on Viger Avenue West.
Moreau tells Eater that coffee shots are set to be pulled with the classics in mind. "We're not trying to make third wave, more like coffee with a nostalgic feeling of Old Havana. There will be lattes, cappuccinos, but we're adding Cuban espresso and café bombón."
For the uninitiated, Cuban espresso entails adding sugar to the coffee before the shot is pulled. The sugar being pressed through the machine creates a slightly thicker emulsion with a touch of foam. Café bombón takes it up a level and adds sweetened condensed milk, too.
Elsewhere on the menu there will be injections of tropical flavours: cold brew smoothies with banana and chocolate will feature, and Bonita will serve Brazilian style pastries with passionfruit and guava sourced from Villeray's Rien Qu'un Gateau.
Moreau says the cafe is also on the hunt for a liquor license, and is hoping to use that to serve coffee based cocktails, too.
The cafe's design looks to match the menu: initial photos show the building's façade painted colonial-style in bright blue, which Moreau says is a clear nod to classical buildings in Havana.
"I travel often to Cuba, and when you go to Mexico city and you go to the old part, you get the same vibe as Old Havana...but in Mexico the coffee culture isn't as strong as in Cuba, so we're honouring the past of Havana."
Things could get a little squishy if Bonita proves popular - there are just six seats in the microscopic storefront.
Café Bonita is hiring this week and Moreau hopes to be open as early as next week.