Located at the corner of one of the most dynamic commercial streets in Montreal, Café Chez Teta combines under one roof the traditions of Lebanese cuisine with the flavors and quality of a new third-wave café. A simple material palette merges the comfort of Lebanese design with a minimalist esthetic. Designed by IVY studio, the space simultaneously projects the warm ambiance of a grandmothers’ home (*Teta means grandmother in Arabic) as well as the energy of a typical Montreal café.
With large windows covering both main facades, the room is filled with natural light for the majority of the day. A large sliding window behind the counter allows customers to order directly from the street, livening up the sidewalk outside. We enter the space through a generously glazed vestibule. Inside, the walls are adorned with walnut veneer and a handmade plaster finish, punctuated by locally produced custom terracotta light fixtures and horizontal mirror bands.
The bistro-style furniture is composed of delicate classic Thonet walnut chairs and stools. Two long banquettes with natural leather and a burgundy velvet backrest sweep around the main walls of the dining room. The bistro tables are made of a matching powder coated dark burgundy steel and solid walnut top. The large communal table with its hand-carved ornate walnut base and walnut encased sand-colored marble top has a commanding presence in the center of the room. At the window, a high counter lets you enjoy a warm coffee while looking out on Rachel Street.
The service counter is divided into two unique pieces. The order counter is a monolithic marble block, with deep tones of red, beige, black and white. Beside it is the pick-up bar, a higher curved counter wrapped in the walnut veneer. Above the counters, a burgundy steel structure with a custom laser cut cane pattern is used for storage. This pattern is repeated for the window counter and coffee displays. Three squared arches with wooden shelves are used to showcase Teta’s signature ceramic dinnerware. Underneath, clients can serve themselves water from the antique brass faucet.
In the kitchen, nothing was left to chance to offer customers the best culinary experience. A Marzocco espresso machine is placed next to a traditional Turkish sand coffee machine. A unique Lebanese oven, a must in the making of traditional Manoush’eh flatbread pie, was imported for the café. There is no doubt that the quality of the equipment combined with the Lebanese know-how at Café Chez Teta will please even the biggest coffee amateurs of Montreal.