Introducing: The Big Guy’s Coffee Shop, Queen West’s latest coffeemonger
With a name like The Big Guy’s Coffee Shop, it’s tempting to think of Parkdale’s latest café as some kind of ironic jab at Starbucks and Tim Hortons. It’s named after the owner, Steven Turner, who earned the moniker during a managing stint at Second Cup because, well, he’s a pretty big guy. The South African expat has had a fairly successful run with The Big Guy’s Little Coffee Shop in New Toronto and decided a new venture closer to downtown was the next step.
In opening up the shop a few weeks ago, Turner wasn’t trying to make inroads into the city’s growing craft coffee scene (Parkdale’s caffeinated set already has options on that front, like Cherry Bomb and Capital). Instead, he’s just looking to offer fair-trade, organic java at a good price—single espressos are just $1.75, taxes in—and without the attitude. “We just want to give good coffee to everybody,” Turner says. “We don’t want to be too elitist.”
That said, the new shop fits right in with its West Queen West surroundings. Nearly all the furniture is second-hand, including a set of shelves discovered on a curb, and a table in the back “chill-out” area that was fashioned out of an old door.
All the coffee is sourced from Guelph’s Planet Bean and is also sold in bulk ($4 per 100 grams). Rounding out the user experience is free Wi-Fi, plenty of seating and pastries from Circles and Squares. For now, the shop’s hoping to pick up on the boom of new businesses in the area, as well as the void left by a recently closed big guy nearby: Coffee Time.
The Big Guy’s Coffee Shop, 1718 Queen St. W., 416-389-1161, Facebook page.