I took a look inside the construction of Sammy Piccolo’s almost finished Spade cafe yesterday. The Italian-themed 40 seater is landing later this month at 1858 Commercial Drive, which is the old 1,500 sqft Waves Coffee location at E. 3rd Avenue. Piccolo, of course, is the owner of Prado, the original location of which is still going strong just down the street (our favourite of the five). Before he was so business-minded and seemingly bent on conquering the world, he was a four-time Canadian Barista Champion and the first ever winner of the World Latte Art Championships. The guy knows coffee.
Spade will differ from Prado in that it will be a cafe in the day time and a restaurant at night. “This will be my interpretation of an Italian coffee bar.” Sammy told me. That means from 8am to 3pm they’ll do pour over coffee and espresso service with snacks and sandwiches; a happy hour from 3pm to 6pm; and dinner service starting at 5pm. They’re also planning to serve up Italian family-style brunches on Sundays. I think they were awaiting their liquor inspection yesterday so if that went well they’ll also be offering a few beers (Parallel 49, 33 Acres, Powell St.), some biodynamic and natural wines, and a few vernacular cocktails (eg. Aperol Spritz, Limoncello Sour, Negroni).
Running the kitchen is Kathleen Pearce, who has been at Royal Dinette since moving to Vancouver by way of Toronto, where she worked at Parts & Labour, and Calgary, where she was at Charcut, Pigeonhole and Deville Coffee. Her menus includes a bunch of pastries, including cream puffs, frangipane and olive oil cake; charcuterie and cheese boards; meaty hoagies and paninis (with veggie options); some interesting salads (mmm, beets and burrata); dinner plates like Melanzane Parmigiana and gnocchi with lemon and black garlic cream; and breakfast sandwiches very similar to the drool-worthy one I wrote about yesterday from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, which is owned by Sammy’s brother, Vincent). Opening day is being set for the middle of the month. Take a closer look at the almost finished interior below, and get a load of those brand spankin’ new Curtis’ Seraphim pour over machines!