The best way to get to the Merchants of Green Coffee by bicycle is along the Don River Trail to Queen Street East. A stair climb is required, up to the bridge. Davies is the first street east of the bridge and the coffee house is at its end.
The Merchants are coffee zealots, not just grinding their coffee fresh each time, they roast it fresh daily too, on the premises. Danica and I share a half carafe and we love the stuff.
Art is a major bonus, and live music, if you want to go upstairs to the “jam” factory. I haven’t yet attended a life drawing session there, but I may. Musicians play while you draw. An inspiring atmosphere?
One of the artists who lead the drawing sessions is Stefan Berg, a talented East Ender whose work appeals to me. He has a strong sense of design and a searching eye when he renders human subjects and landscapes. He exhibits and receives good critical reviews.
Two of Berg’s linocut prints hang in our kitchen. I bought them a couple of years ago and picked them up at the artist’s studio on Lower Dawes Road. Prints from the same series, Buddy Bolden’s Last Parade, (jazz theme) hang in the coffee house along with some linocuts that were new to me. Look at that gnarly face, titled Beckett in the thumbnail I’ve included. The Berg self portrait is from his business card. See why I find his work interesting?
Right next door to the coffee house, we discovered where old garden urns go to die. If you are looking for a bottomy statue of Leda patting the Swan, or His and Hers Sphinxes, here’s your spot. The area is becoming a good prowl.