Platform 7 3/4
If redheaded families are dispatching young wizards into the walls, we muggles cannot see it. We can enjoy the train station vibe at Platform 7 Coffee, be it the stop on East Hastings or the next one West on Broadway.
From the arched ceiling fixtures to the four-person booths, candied donuts and spill-proof drink receptacles, we could be on our way to Hogwarts. As owner Marke McNichol said in a Roundhouse Radio interview with Minelle Mahtani. “We wanted to create a very unique, different architecture.”
Platform 7’s first location, at Hastings and Nanaimo, was inspired by London’s Paddington Station, seen above in The Railway Station, painted by William Powell Frith in 1862.
Platform 7 founders McNichol and Livio Susin have loved trains since they were kids. McNichol, who grew up in North Burnaby, would be thrilled when his Dad took him down to see the trains. McNichol and Susin knew that they wanted to create a European-styled, whimsical train experience with their café. A place, ideally, with a Harry Potter influence.
“You see a spectacular ceiling design,” McNichol tells Mahtani, “that is the basis of our train-themed design element.. Nice metal trusses designed to closely resemble Paddington in London. The lights are very, very unique there. As you come down off the ceiling, you get to see lots of steampunk inspired things like metal, glass, piping, gears. Steam’s a very big thing, and of course, with coffee machines, steam is involved. And then you get into the booths. The booths were designed to either resemble the seats in a train station or, actually, the seats in a train itself. The design of the room is long and narrow so it does give you the train station/train feel.”
Local filmmaker and regular East Hastings customer, Justin Pelletier, decided to interview McNichol and create a short film about Platform 7.
Their second Kits location was inspired by a Belle Époque train station in Paris. Here we see one painted by Claude Monet in 1877: La Gare Saint-Lazare.
At notre Platform, you’ll find coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Cold Brew, Brew Bar and Espresso Bar.
Donuts from Vancouver’s Cartems Donuterie – Earl Grey, Pink Lemonade..
And all sorts of other treats:
At both locations, you’ll also find great tip jar drawings by barista and artist Carole Mathys.
Written by Elizabeth Newton