I like this place already. The coffee is good, the food looks delicious, and the owners are super hands-on. It’s only been open for four days, but Nemesis is already playing host to daily line-ups and most of the 40 seats filling during the morning/noon rushes. Located at 302 W. Hastings on the western edge of Gastown, the new coffee shop has been several months in the making. Here’s what I wrote about it back in October:
The 1,500 sqft space at the foot of the new SFU building overlooking Victory Square is in the early midst of construction now, but when it’s ready in early December [make that mid-February] it’ll be a voluminous, 40 seat, coffee/food-focused cafe named after the Greek goddess who always kept an eye on arrogance and hubris. A fitting name for an especially exacting and often precious milieu, no?
I checked it out earlier this week with the ownership group – all first timers – who are pictured above (left to right: Jess Reno; James Salmon; chef David Jackman; Cole Trepanier; Albert Tang; Michele Zuber; JP Santa Maria). It sounds like they’re aiming for Nemesis to slide right into the pre-existing, bustling, and competitive coffee scene as a temple to coffee culture. They want to help foster and celebrate it not only by the cup via beans from Melbourne’s famed and award-winning St. ALi (among others, like Pilot out of Toronto and possibly Mecca from Sydney), but also through a menu inspired by the world’s diverse coffee-producing regions. Expect hot and cold comfort foods, an in-house bread and pastry program, various cold brews and some craft beers for balance.
They have yet to get the green light on beers, but beyond that the only major change is the chef. David Jackman is out of the picture (now working at Cinara) and Jacob Deacon-Evans (ex-Bishop’s, West, Wildebeest) is in charge. I popped my head in this morning for a sip and a snack. As you can see from the shots below, it looks awesome: