Home CommentaryStudent Life The Broken Pencil: Anticafé

The Broken Pencil: Anticafé

by Alex Hutchins September 4, 2018
The Broken Pencil: Anticafé

My new favourite café-workspace

When it comes to being productive, whether that’s pumping out an assignment for a class or an article for The Concordian, it can’t be done at home — I have to go to a café. Some will hermit in their room (re: cell) for the weekend, but I can’t resist the alluring smell of freshly ground coffee. Paired with the buzz of vitality and obscure music that fills some of my favourite go-to spots around Montreal, cozy cafés are next to irresistible for me.

As I struggle to pull open the front door to Anticafé (turns out I had to push), the barista greets me and asks, “Est-ce que c’est votre première fois ici?” (Translation: Is this your first time here?). Anticafé is located by Champs-de-Mars metro station, in the bustling European-esque Old Port, at 406 Notre-Dame St. E — a very francophone part of Montreal.

Yes it is my first time, and I’m already in love. The exposed brick wall, the succulents and floor plants that litter the lounge space, the mismatching upholstered armchairs, the lofts with massive writing desks — all of the decor fits together so perfectly. Imagine an elderly individual who danced shoeless at Woodstock, collects jazz vinyls, and owns a parakeet named Clancy, yet manages to keep up with the millennial hipster trends. This person is the assumed interior decorator of Anticafé.

It’s taken me awhile to find my favourite hideouts, which are typically in N.D.G, within walking distance of my apartment. However, Anticafé is one quaint hub I will always trek across the city for, and not simply for its eclectic decor. Arguably, the best feature of Anticafé is that you pay a grand total of three dollars per hour.

During this hour, you have access to everything at the café, with the only catch being that you serve yourself. Everything from specialty coffee, tea, biscuits, toast, and other light snacks, which can vary slightly depending on the day, are there for your taking. The barista will even help you prepare any specialty coffee you want, so no worries if you don’t know how to properly steam milk to get that perfect microfoam for a latte!

I enter my name and email address on the touch-screen computer near the front entrance to start my timestamp, and slowly make my way through the café. Toward the back, there is a decent size kitchen, filled with driftwood shelves stocked with unique mugs, jars, tea cups and saucers, opposite a full espresso bar. As the barista begins making my Americano, I assemble a small plate of saltines and carrots, find a quiet table-for-two near the window and begin writing what you just finished reading.

Graphic by @spooky_soda

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