Regan Greatrix hopes to establish her own vision of Utopia at Crystal Beach.
Inspired by the cafe scene in Toronto’s Queen Street neighborhood, she opened her own cafe on Derby Road with the help of her father, Rob. Utopia Lounge and Vintage Shopped opened on March 11 and offer a mix of specialty coffee drinks, cocktails and vintage clothing.
“Everything here has been repurposed,” Greatrix said. “Like many companies, we try to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Even the furniture has been recycled, giving the café a unique and relaxed vibe. While sipping on their beverage of choice, customers can also browse the shelves of vintage clothing and Utopia-branded items.
“It’s a concept that was developed in Toronto,” Greatrix said of her business. “We want to get people used to the idea that second-hand clothes can be cool and trendy.”
Even the music adds to the ambiance. Greatrix plundered her parents’ record collection in a variety of classic albums from Black Sabbath, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Supertramp and more. Albums spin the soundtrack of a stereo system.
The cafe’s coffee menu is extensive, with espressos, lattes, and a variety of cocktails. Food available including wraps and local baked goods. The coffee, mostly Italian blends, comes from Ruffino Coffee in Mississauga.
“They have decades of experience roasting coffee,” Greatrix said.
Utopia isn’t your average coffee joint, Greatrix said. The fact that it is licensed makes it stand out.
“After 4 or 5 p.m., the cafe crowd goes home,” she said. “Because we sell alcohol, we’ll stay open later and won’t close at 3 or 4 p.m. People come for coffee and stay for cocktails.”
Worlds collide, however, in the form of one of coffee’s signature drinks, an espresso martini for coffee lovers who want a little more oomph in their drink.
The idea is to provide a place where people can come and relax, perhaps after dinner at one of the restaurants on the beach.
“We will only be open until 11 a.m. (once summer comes). You won’t get the big bar crowds,” Greatrix said.
Coffee prices start at $2.50 for a regular medium coffee with specialty lattes priced at $4.50. Cocktails start at $7.50.
Located at 404 Derby, the cafe is open from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The café will be open until 11 p.m. in summer.