New eatery gives a hoot for art

Rustic Owl café offers gallery and performances

Before opening Rustic Owl, Stacey Collrin spent months turning the former NDP campaign office into her boutique art gallery and café.

“I was here 10 hours a day doing renovations,” she says. “I had a business plan down pat but for the three months leading up to opening I mostly had a renovation state of mind.”

Rustic Owl serves up a variety of cold and hot beverages, including coconut mocha and pumpkin spice lattes made with real pumpkins and coconuts, baked goods from Desmond and Beatrice and a rotating selection of sandwiches, salads and all day brunch options.

As a nearby resident of her Bloor Street W. and Dovercourt Road café, Collrin saw a need for more community-friendly spaces, she says.

“There are a lot of good restaurants opening in the area but they often open up after 5 p.m. so I definitely thought there needed to be more of a daytime hangout spot in the area,” she says, adding she has nearly a decade of experience in the service and event planning industry.

Although artwork and owls are also found in the front of the café, the back section has a dedicated gallery currently showcasing a collective of roughly 20 artists, designers and photographers. The café is also home to acoustic performances.

“This is a really great neighborhood,” she says. “Even leaving here to head home I pass so many faces and neighbours and people that come in that I know and it’s awesome to get to know the people of the neighbourhood.

About this article:

By: Ann Ruppenstein
Posted: Jun 15 2012 1:35 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto