As passersby stop to peer through gaps in the green plastic taped to the windows of the future She Takes the Cake location on Courtoreille Street currently under renovation, proprietor Melissa Beck confirms rumours that her cafe is indeed moving.
“Everything is official now, and we’ll be moving in over the April long weekend,” she told The Hub. “It’s always been my goal to be downtown and I’m really looking forward to making everything my own there from start to finish.”
The former location of a bakery, as well as a restaurant known as The Frozen Grape, boasts a fully-equipped industrial kitchen, something Beck has craved since moving into her current location in the industrial area.
“It’s just going to be so nice to have the space there. It’ll be great to not run out of cinnamon buns at five past ten because we just don’t have the oven space to make more,” she said.
Apart from the expanded kitchen space, the cafe will keep much the same feel as the current location with perhaps a touch more sophistication. Beck said she doesn’t want to lose the cosy feel of the cafe that makes her customers so comfortable.
“People tell me all the time they want to stay and chat for hours because it feels like their living room,” she said. “I don’t want
that to change.”
The new space will also be more accessible because of the ramp on the sidewalk leading up to the businesses on Courtoreille Street, and will also sport a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Beck said she wants to make it open to everyone and anticipates a growing and different crowd.
“I think we’re really just going to roll with it and get a feel for the new demographics,” she said.
Not only does Beck anticipate a fair amount more foot traffic, being so close to the schools also means that lunchtimes will see a crowd of students heading over to fill up before heading back to class.
“I’m eager to be downtown, surrounded by other businesses,” she said, adding that the cafe will also be on the beaten path for the summer tourist season as well.
A new location will make it easier for employees, with an expanded seating area and more room to manoeuvre in the back of the house.
“I’m super excited,” said Keisha Kipling. “It’s going to be a lot busier. Everyone passing by will be coming in along with our regulars.”
Kipling said she looks forward to seeing how the renovations will go. While the building has been inhabited by a few successive restaurants, the space itself hasn’t undergone a drastic transformation in her memory.
“I’m just vibrating just thinking about it,” she said. “Though that may be the coffee.”