The Strong Badger Coffeehouse: Caffeine with a healthy dose of community
The thing you need to know about the West End’s Strong Badger Coffeehouse is that it’s not really a coffeehouse at all. Sure, you can settle in, crack your laptop and fuel up on your favourite caffeinated beverages, but it’s so much more than that.
“I like to think of it as a neighbourhood meeting place,” says owner/head badger Brock Peters. “An inclusive community space where people can get together and express themselves artistically over good coffee.”
Well put. The overflowing bookshelves, mismatched chairs and comfy sofa (not to mention the scattered collection of badger memorabilia) definitely create a cozy atmosphere and reinforce the feeling that you’re in a friend’s living room. Depending on your mood, it’s a great place to lose yourself in a book, strike up a conversation with a complete stranger or make a dent in your current project.
The menu, much like the shop itself, is straightforward and unpretentious: delicious drip coffee (sourced from Winkler’s Other Brother Roasters), simple lattes, strong espressos and few other cafe staples. They also serve up a small but tasty selection of treats courtesy of local baker Mike Harms and a simple but essential affogato (espresso poured over vanilla ice cream).
In the spirit of supporting and promoting local, the Badger also sells a limited line of coffee beans roasted exclusively in Manitoba (Red Lake Coffee Co., Sheepdog Coffee Co., and Green Bean Coffee Imports) and a curated collection of books in the McNally Robinson Story Bar.
But what truly sets the Strong Badger apart is its sense of community. There’s a stage set up in the corner for live music and open mic nights (every other Friday), and the vintage typewriters lining the front window are put to good use when the shop hosts a Type-In writers’ night. The shop also hosted the inaugural BadgerFest this summer, showcasing local musicians and vendors at the corner of Sargent and Victor.
Still need an excuse to check out the Strong Badger? We Heart Winnipeg cardholders get 10% off any bag of beans, so you can save money, support local and restock your coffee cupboard all in one shot.