Inside Parlour, you'll find premium coffees served by serious coffee connoisseurs.
Percolators are verboten here. Instead, owner Nils Vik and his staff grind to-order beans, pull espressos and make pour-over coffees using Chemex and Hario coffee makers.
Latte art—patterns and pictures delicately painted in the hot foamed milk—is the norm; it’s almost too pretty to slurp up.
But you will slurp and savour because the coffee is fresh, bold and outstanding.
Since opening in September, the Main Street spot has quickly become the go-to spot for downtown business folks and creative types who haunt the Exchange District. The 400 sq. ft. space boasts a 20-foot-long reclaimed oak-wood counter and a street-facing bar for people watching. Seating is limited and there is no Wi-Fi—all by design to encourage conversation and a dynamic vibe.
"A lot of the elements in the shop are paying homage to my favourite coffee shops in the world," says Vik, who drew inspiration from the chic minimalism of London coffeehouse and food purveyor Fernandez & Wells.
The 28-year-old tried coffee for the first time in just 2008. He immediately began immersing himself in coffee culture, also making a point to visit coffee shops on his travels.
"I was tired of traveling to other cities and having a great coffee experience...and no one was really doing that here," says Vik, who studied architecture and worked as a graphic and industrial designer before making the career switch.
"I thought Winnipeg wanted and needed a place that focused only on coffee."
To that end, only a small selection of Stella's Café & Bakery pastries and sweets are also sold. Parlour uses Phil & Sebastian, 49th Parallel and Detour coffee beans, which are also for sale and can be ground on site by staff.
Retail space is limited to just a few shelves at the back of the house. To-go mugs by Stanley and KeepCup and coffee journals are carried, among other coffee paraphernalia.
Photos by Matt Zylstra Sawatzky