First Look: Wunderland Gallery and Espresso Bar, Reverend Brother Peter Styrsky’s foray into coffee


Published:

“We did our quiet opening on Saturday,” says Peter Styrsky, the jovial, grey-bearded owner of Wunderland Gallery and Espresso Bar. So quiet that this reporter, who walks by it every day, didn’t know it was there.

The east-end house in which Styrsky and his family have lived for 14 years now sports the name “Wunderland,” and it’s becoming more noticeable with customers meandering in to see some art and savour some organic espresso. But this is a house with a bit of history.

Peter Styrsky is a reverend brother of the multi-faith organization Church of the Universe, which gained notoriety after unsuccessfully challenging Canada’s marijuana laws (Styrsky and other ministers of the church claimed pot helped them find God). Wunderland will, apparently, have no affiliation with the Church: “After this, we’re going to open a church downtown, but this is separate,” he says. “But if my parishioners come in here, of course I’ll talk with them any time.”

The concept: A small art gallery with an espresso bar. Wunderland strives to be as eco-friendly as possible, offering mostly organic products and some with fair trade certification. The lighting, arranged to illuminate the exhibited paintings — this month, acrylic/mixed media compositions by Jane Murdoch Adams — is LED. The beams, floor, bar, furniture and sign were all made by Styrsky, himself a contractor, of wood reclaimed from a 200-year-old barn. The place seats about nine inside so far, but could increase to 25 or so with the addition of a patio and possible expansion inside. The art exhibit will change every month, introduced with a party; the next is scheduled for early May.

The hood: The Beaches, across from the fire station, at Queen Street East and Woodbine.

The coffee and the eats: “The coffee is part of the art,” Styrsky says. Wunderland’s barista, David Silveira, hanging out at the Nuova Simonelli espresso machine, concurs. Coffees ($2), espressos ($2), macchiatos ($2), lattes ($4) and the like are supported by sweet snacks, including Portuguese custards you won’t find elsewhere in the area. Certified organic fair trade beans ($20/lb), are Ethiopian or a house blend.

The owner’s favourite: Canadiano ($2.25/2.75), a long single/double shot of espresso fixed however you like it.

Coming soon: Patio, website, and more food options such as wraps, grilled sandwiches or salads, depending on customer interest.

Wunderland Gallery and Espresso Bar, 1905 Queen Street East, 416-698-4634

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

In Season and on the Menu: Rhubarb lands on menus including Toronto's Soho House

In Season and on the Menu: Rhubarb lands on menus including Toronto's Soho House

This week, I talked to Soho House Toronto’s pastry chef, Kristen Pettit, all about rhubarb. It’s her favourite season.
Posted 1 day ago
Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza, an import from Quincy, MA, is set to open on Front Street this June.
Posted 3 days ago
Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

The Chase Fish and Oyster is doing brunch. Now that the weather has finally shaped up, the ideal prelude to a day at the water’s edge is a meal replete with the fruits of the sea.
Posted 4 days ago
Amsterdam expands the house that Boneshaker built

Amsterdam expands the house that Boneshaker built

They opened a larger production facility in Leaside and in 2013 added the sprawling BrewHouse on Queen’s Quay. This spring they completed a significant expansion to the Leaside facility, so I caught up with McOustra to talk about what this means for one of Toronto’s most important craft breweries.
Posted 1 week ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module