New business spotlight: F Mondays Coffee Shop & Bookstore

Daryl Gonsalves, Columnist –

Where the familiar aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafted from the recently closed Tan­dem Coffee, F Mondays has revived the quirky and cozy storefront just east of King and Parliament Streets. It continues to offer high-quality coffee with a small twist – a love of litera­ture. This piece will detail my first impressions of F Mondays, my interview with the owner and what you can expect from F Mondays as the new business starts gaining momentum in the Corktown neighbourhood.

Toronto has no shortage of coffee shops. If you ask Toron­tonian to defend their personal favourite, tensions may quickly run high.

So it was no surprise to me that Corktown went through a week of mourning when owners Eugene and Miche announced that Tandem Coffee was clos­ing. I remember bonding with a fellow Corktowner at an event, sharing our grief over its sudden departure.

Comments from the farewell Tandem social media posts made clear that Torontonians form a bond with their favourite coffee shops, elevating a tradi­tionally transactional space to a hub that the community gathers in and gets attached to .

While change is inevitable, F Mondays aims not to alter the successful formula Tandem pi­oneered but to reimagine and enhance it.

Stepping into the new F Mon­days storefront, I noticed the cozy atmosphere of Tandem has been recreated and no sub­stantial renovations had taken place. The walls were adorned with classic and modern books, patrons were engrossed in their work, and the staff fostered live­ly conversations — familiar elements that immediately caught my attention.

F Mondays offers a unique ‘blind date with a book’ experi­ence, featuring concealed books with excerpts or reviews and genre hints to pique curiosity.

F Mondays Coffee at 368 King Street East. Photo: Daryl Gonsalves

Chatting with the owner, Sean, I came to realize he is thoughtful, community orient­ed and a little eclectic. Sean decided to purchase the Tan­dem space when the opportu­nity came, and Tandem owners Eugene and Miche served as mentors. Sean was clear that he wanted to retain what Tandem brought to the community, and was happy to hear that Tandem regulars found F Mondays to in­spire similar feelings.

I asked Sean the salient ques­tion: why do you hate Mondays? He responded that he may have hated the day as a kid but has no opinion as an adult. The store’s name is to capture the feelings of a younger version of himself and the coming of age that we all experience.

Just what is changing? With F Mondays, Sean combined his love of literature, coffee and community. Sean fell in love with reading at a young age and wants to share that passion. For him, F Mondays is equally a coffee shop and a bookstore; customers are encouraged to grab a book and explore their literary horizons.

Another change is the intro­duction of Wi-Fi. And in keep­ing with the goal of ensuring a community focus, Sean hosts free community meditation ses­sions after hours. In future Sean wants to host local artists and expand community program­ming.

F Mondays is a curated spe­cialty coffee cafe and an inde­pendent bookshop. Patrons can savour espresso beverages and drip coffee from local third-wave roasters, indulge in local baked goods, and enjoy relia­ble Internet. F Mondays invites readers and coffee enthusiasts alike to explore their literary horizons in a space that blends the old and the new.