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This new Montreal coffee shop time warps you into a 90’s NYC bodega dream

This new Montreal coffee shop time warps you into a 90’s NYC bodega dream
/ Bodega_Mtl / Instagram

Calling all 90’s lovers: Looking for a new coffee shop to try out in the city? This might just be the place for you…

Café Bodega MTL, located right in the heart of Griffintown, is the latest spot that’s on the top of everyone’s bucket list in the city. A New York-inspired bodega, complete with 90’s nostalgia decor… It’s truly every 90’s kid's dream.

We got the chance to speak with the sister owners of Café Bodega MTL, Doha and Mayssa Skaf, to learn a little more about their shop and what local Montrealers can expect at their next visit.

 How did you come up with the concept of the coffee shop?

When thinking of opening up a coffee shop, we (Doha and Mayssa) wanted to open it based on something that had made a major impact on our lives. For Bodega, it was based on our childhood. We grew up in Brooklyn, NYC, and one of our favourite things to do as kids was hang out at the bodega underneath our building. We'd literally spend all day going in/out of there, and the clerk, Chico, was always keeping an eye on us. The beauty of it was not just the free candies he'd sneak us, but the fact that Chico knew everyone. He knew all of our names, backgrounds, and stories. As kids, it opened up our curiosity and our love for NYC. The chaos, the music, the food, the melting pot of cultures, the colors... (and the candies!!) 

It's part of the memories we created as kids, and Bodega is us sharing those moments with Montreal. 

The design of the shop embraces lots of 90's nostalgia, what is it about the 90's culture that you love so much? 

What we love the most about the 90's is the sense of curiosity and simplicity. The 90's was all about happiness. This is shown in that eras design, TV shows, music, fashion, and even in its food. Everything was fun, colorful and not over complicated. When creating Bodega, we wanted to embody that mindset. When you walk in, it's simple, it's colorful, and your choices are not over complicated. No extra fluff.

What are some of the items that you currently have on your menu? Any notable fan favorites? 

We work with various local businesses that deliver fresh pastries to us daily. Two menu items that our clients absolutely adore are our donuts and Dunkaroo-inspired cinnamon buns... They're honestly to die for. We also have a lunch menu that consists of simple, but oh-so-tasty deli-inspired sandwiches. 

In addition, because we are inspired by the 90's, we couldn't pass on including everyone's fave snacks that we grew up with. We have everything from Dunkaroos, Nerds, Ring pops, Warheads, etc. Our shop has it all! 

How would you differentiate your coffee shop compared to most places in the city? 

What differentiates us from the rest in the city is simple: the vibe. We've created a space where everyone feels at home... Just like we did when living above our NYC bodega. Our clients have quickly become like family. From our daily regulars to newcomers that visit our shop, everyone feels at home. The greatest feeling is knowing that friendships have been built under our roof... It's that sense of community that makes the biggest difference and allows us to stand out from the rest.

Where can people find/contact you? 

You can find us on Instagram @bodega_mtl or come by at 248 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC. 

Anything else you'd like to share with us? 

We are two sisters who also happen to be best friends. Keep an eye out as we create more concept spaces that are inspired by our experiences. 

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