A coffee shop in Toronto that claimed to be anti-capitalist and anti-colonial has closed its doors for good, citing financial difficulties and lack of support.
The Anarchist Cafe, located at 190 Jarvis Street, opened in March 2022 and offered coffee, baked goods, and radical books and art. The owner, Gabriel Sims-Fewer, said he wanted to create a space for people who shared his leftist politics and ideas.
“I hope by openly declaring the business as anti-capitalist I can motivate people to think and ask about what that means, and let those who are already anti-capitalists of one kind or another know that this is a place for them, where their politics, ideas, and identities will always be welcome,” he told blogTO in April 2022.
He also said he hoped to turn the cafe into a worker-owned and operated co-op, where everyone would be paid the same and make decisions by consensus. He offered pay-what-you-can drip coffee as a way to make specialty coffee more accessible to the working class.
However, his plan backfired as he struggled to make ends meet and grow the business. He announced the closure on the cafe’s website and Instagram page this week, thanking his customers and landlords for their generosity and patience.
“Unfortunately, the lack of generational wealth/seed capital from ethically bankrupt sources left me unable to weather the quiet winter season, or to grow in the ways needed to be sustainable longer-term,” he wrote.
The announcement sparked mixed reactions from online commentators. Some expressed sadness and admiration for his attempt to challenge the capitalist system, while others mocked him for his naive and unrealistic approach.
“This is such sad news! Much to be proud of though. It’s really cool what you created,” one Instagram user wrote.
“Anarchist Cafe’s Anti-Capitalist Plan Backfires, Coffeehouse Now Permanently Closed. Shocking,” another user sarcastically commented on a news article.
The Anarchist Cafe will officially close on May 30, 2023.
- Anarchist Cafe’s Anti-Capitalist Plan Backfires, Coffeehouse Now Permanently Closed | His Glory | May 15, 2023
- Anarchist Cafe’s Anti-Capitalist Plan Backfires, Coffeehouse Now Permanently Closed | USSA News | May 15, 2023
- Toronto’s proudly anti-capitalist cafe is permanently closing – blogTO | blogTO | May 15, 2023