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.