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...

Adam McDowell on life as a columnist, writer and drinks expert on CTV’s The Social

Adam McDowell on life as a columnist, writer and drinks expert on CTV’s The Social

Adam McDowell’s first book, ‘Drinks: A User’s Guide,’ was released in 2016
Posted 24 minutes ago
For his new restaurant on Ossington, Brandon Olsen has gone bananas

For his new restaurant on Ossington, Brandon Olsen has gone bananas

Brandon Olsen is a man obsessed with process. Prior to opening of his French restaurant on Ossington, La Banane, the chef spent hours in the kitchen breaking down every element of his menu in progress.
Posted 2 days ago
First Look: Tabülè adds a location at Bayview Village to their growing family business

First Look: Tabülè adds a location at Bayview Village to their growing family business

Their latest opened inside Bayview Village just a few weeks ago and is drawing on established Tabülè favourites with a few new twists.
Posted 7 days ago
Restaurant Review: Chef Steve Gonzalez is back with his gigantic new King West eatery

Restaurant Review: Chef Steve Gonzalez is back with his gigantic new King West eatery

Cherry-picking the menu works really well. Some of the fusion items, where East meets Latin, are really fun. Chef’s suite of ceviches are superbly entertaining: we’re captivated by the variegated flavours of tiraditos, raw tuna napped in passion fruit and lulo sauce, with black and white sesame seeds, chili-studded purée of butternut squash and baby greens.
Posted 7 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module