The Anarchist: Toronto's anti-capitalist cafe is permanently closing

May 15 2023, 3:52 pm

One polarizing coffee shop in Toronto is set to officially close its doors at the end of the month.

The Anarchist, located at 190 Jarvis Street, describes itself as an “anti-capitalist, anti-colonial cafe, shop and radical community space on stolen land.”

The coffee shop first opened up back in March 2022 and offers all the beverages and baked goods you’d expect to find at a cafe, with a side of radical books, art, stickers, jewelry, clothing, and tote bags.

“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,” owner Gabriel Sims-Fewer previously told blogTO.

Sims-Fewer uploaded a bittersweet message to the cafe’s website this week announcing the shop’s closure.

“The Anarchist has been a huge success in every way I hoped, and has given me so much inspiration and education that I plan to put to use in future projects,” the announcement reads.

“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,” the message continues.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Pop Coffee Works, my coffee supplier and landlords, for their generosity and patience; they could easily have sold this space, or rented for more than twice what they’ve charged me, so this place wouldn’t have existed without them.”

The closure was also announced on the cafe’s Instagram page, which prompted dozens of sombre comments from loyal customers.

“This is such sad news! Much to be proud of though. It’s really cool what you created,” one person wrote.

“Inspired to have seen you do what you want to do in the cafe world. I’m sure it was no easy task. No shame in making your difficult decision,” another customer said.

The Anarchist will officially be shutting its doors on May 30, 2023.

Kimia Afshar MehrabiKimia Afshar Mehrabi

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