Now Open: Roast Coffeehouse and Wine Bar

I pass the Mercer Warehouse twice every day on my way to and from work, so I can’t tell you how much I have been looking forward to the opening of Roast Coffeehouse and Wine Bar (102, 10359 104 Street). Given the Starbucks at Quest on 105 Street closed a few months back, Roast is now the closest coffee shop to my office, handy for those days where an extra pick-me-up is needed. Having announced that their soft opening would be taking place today, Mack and I headed to Roast this morning before work.

Roast

Roast Coffeehouse

Mack loved the “R” sign marking the entrance, and the patio furniture that takes advantage of the Promenade’s wide walkways. He would have preferred that the benches faced the sidewalk instead of the street, but it is still better than no outdoor furniture!

Roast

Outdoor seating

No question, the space has been fully renovated. Mack had a chance to visit the space in January, and it looked nothing like it does now. The brick and floors had been painted over, and the strained, fluorescent lighting did nothing to highlight the character of the historical building.

Roast Coffee

Before

Until now: the owners of Roast did a great job – I loved the exposed brick and re-varnished floors, and thought the pressed tin was a nice touch as well. The space actually reminded me a lot of the newest location of Dark Horse in Toronto, right down to the chalkboard menu and the fact that they also had to open without an espresso machine.

Roast

After

The interior was warm and inviting, with a lot of different seating options, including booths that would suit large groups very well, and even a secluded community table.

Roast

Booths

Roast

Community table

Mack and I chose to have a brewed coffee each ($2.50 for a small). Roast serves California-based Verve Coffee, and had a good selection of their beans for sale. And though they didn’t have their espresso capabilities up and running yet, I love their fun take on lattes, with both a crème brule and maple bacon latte on the menu. You can take a look at their full drink menu here.

Roast

For the home brewing crowd

For food, Roast serves up pastries and desserts from The Good Oven (run by the people who had started Fresh Start Bistro, who then shifted their focus to catering) and lunch items from The Chopped Leaf. I have to say I’m a little disappointed that Roast didn’t choose to make any food in-house – given their competition is Credo (who bakes their own treats fresh daily) and Transcend (who has a rockin’ South American menu).

Roast

Salads

We didn’t get a full picture of their wine and evening menu, but it’ll be interesting to see how this evolves. The cafe + wine bar concept hasn’t taken off in Edmonton, and with Mercer Tavern next door, would those looking for a post-work drink choose Roast over the neighbouring bar? That said, if they create the right atmosphere (and it looks like they’ll be bringing in some live musicians at some point), perhaps they can cultivate that aspect of their business after all.

Roast

Interior

I’m excited that there is finally a business to anchor the other end of 104 Street, and look forward to coming back again! And with the Tavern opening up this weekend, it really is a great time to visit the Promenade.

Roast Coffeehouse and Wine Bar
102, 10359 104 Street
(780) 669-0221

11 thoughts on “Now Open: Roast Coffeehouse and Wine Bar

  1. I wouldn’t be too hard on Roast for not having their own food since they are just opening. Transcend didn’t have their own food for years! It’s only since they opened their Jasper Ave location that they developed and launched their South American food menu. My guess is (knowing the owner and people that work there) that they want to focus on the coffee first and foremost, and not to try to stretch yourself too thin to start. Development of food can always come later. Better to open with a strong, solid product – coffee since they are a “Coffeehouse”, and slowly introduce other items later.

  2. Thanks for the review, Sharon. So – they don’t roast coffee inhouse like Transcend? It’s more like Credo, carrying a good brand from elsewhere? (Both are fine, just wondering…)
     

  3. Kind of ironic that Roast is located next to the building where the Roost used to be.  Merely coincidence orwas the play on the names intentional?

  4. True enough, I will give them some time to develop! That said, Roast can’t be compared with Transcend who does roast their own beans. As well, if Roast does want to focus on their coffee, I do hope they promote their single cup pour overs more, instead of the vat-brewed coffee – as otherwise, it would be difficult for most people to differentiate their coffee from one of the big chains.

  5. Hi Heather – thanks for reading! Yes, they carry Verve coffee, roasted in Santa Cruz, CA. I just bought a bag for home brewing, and looking forward to it!

  6. Hey all, Roast uses Verve coffee beans, which are roasted fresh each time they are ordered.  But, “Roast” does roast beans for customer purchases, so that’s exciting.  As this is their “soft opening” week, they are still working on their own menu items and, hopefully, everyone will be able to taste some delicious in-house makings as well, in the very near future!

  7. orale, si que se ve bonito y parece estar grande, felicidades. En cuanto esté por EdmonTon los visitaré

  8. Yah, I’m a bit surprised they don’t roast their own coffee. Months ago I had been told by someone working there that they would have a roaster in the cafe and would roast the beans and show people how to roast the beans, and it’d be a center piece of sorts. So I have to admit to be disappointed that the idea seems to have disappeared.

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