I’ve been away on vacation and nothing feels better than coming back home and getting back into the swing of things. Blogging has grown to be a part of that routine and to my joy, Edmonton has a brand new café and late night hangout to boot! I’ve missed you #yegfood!
BRU Coffee and Beer House has been on my radar for some time now, an email from management notifying me of their expected opening in August. A month’s delay later to grab a hold of their liquor license and testing out their menus, their grand opening finally arrived this weekend! Although I sadly missed Saturday’s big event, Sunday’s atmosphere at BRU was a sure indication that it has been a couple of busy days for the new storefront beneath the Pearl Tower on Jasper Avenue.
Unable to formally meet Tina, owner of BRU Coffee and Beer House, I was delighted to see general manager Samuel Lee doubling as the barista both times that I’ve visited, one at the start of their soft opening and again Sunday afternoon. Having worked together at Waves Coffee House, their love for coffee transformed into what originally was going to be a café named Blue. Lucky for Edmonton, the name somehow changed into BRU, a play on word the word as not only is coffee brewed, but so is beer! The best of both worlds, BRU Coffee and Beer House is offering a space open all day long dedicated to serving you quality drinks. When I say all day long, I mean all day long. They hope to be open 7 days a week, with Monday to Thursday from 7am to 9pm, Friday from 7am to late, Saturday from 8am to late, and Sundays from 8am to 9pm. Edmonton is in desperate need of cafés that are open late (in my opinion!), a perfect spot to study or hmm, how about blog?
The space is absolutely gorgeous! Kudos to whoever helped with their design concept. A large communal table with beautifully textured white and grey tiles tie in the front pastry display, complete with a set of modern (yet comfortable!) chairs; tables alongside the side wall underneath exposed ceilings; and countertop tables perfect for people watching by the window. Infographic prints of both coffee and beer are displayed, arriving just in time for the grand opening. There’s even local art displayed throughout the café! Beautiful space and extremely inviting!
On the coffee side of things, BRU is serving up single origin batched beans from the local Transcend, Calgary roaster Phil and Sebastian and Victoria, B.C’s Bows & Arrows. They hope to rotate between the three but also to keep with seasonal coffee. You can also purchase the beans for your home brewing system. Beer-wise, numerous brands are up on the menu micro-brewed beer from Alley Kat on tap. Unfortunately I was so fixated on caffeine that I wasn’t paying nearly enough attention to the beer menu. Next visit, promise!
My visit on Sunday was my first look at their food menu. Consulting with local chefs, BRU Coffee and Beer House is keeping things simple for now. It’s a bit hard to be open 12+ hours on a daily basis with no closing times and be consistent with coffee, beer, and a full blown menu! Throughout the day, the menu consists of a Mixed Greens with Vinaigrette Salad ($13, option to add grilled chicken breast $4), a couple of sandwiches (Italian Trio, $15 and Spring Greens, $13), and Soup of the Day ($7). For the evening crowd (although any time for me, really), charcuterie (Meat Board for Two ($24), Cheese + Pate Boards for Two ($24), and a Meat and Cheese Board for Four ($45) is available and for the breakfast crowd until 11am, Yogurt Parfait ($5) and Pancetta & Egger ($7). Pastries and other baked goods, including the bread for sandwiches are imported from France and then baked in-house.
My Italian Trio was surprisingly well done, the herbed focaccia bread really stealing the show. Capicollo, chorizo, and calabrese deli meats gave the sandwich a nice kick and balanced out with some mixed greens, tomato, Havarti cheese and their housemade BRU sauce. Unexpectedly, my late lunch also came with a side of mixed greens, tossed with crushed walnuts, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes and a light vinaigrette. Love that even their boards were engraved, little details not missed by BRU. With local favourite Elm Café so close by, I can say that if I was hankering a sandwich, Edmonton has some fantastic options but I appreciate the fact that BRU Coffee and Beer House is serving up sit down food to go alongside their drinks.
I’m ecstatic to see some new food popping up between the downtown core and 124 Street, an area definitely growing with new residential buildings. It’s great to see everything connected! While although I might not come to BRU Coffee and Beer House solely for the food, I’m all up for a café with a large enough space to accommodate multiple groups of people and at all times during the day! For residents in the neighbourhood, imagine grabbing your cup of Joe in the morning on your way to work and then coming back to the same space to enjoy a beer! Or if you have a group of friends that are a bit conflicted as to where to go. That mid-afternoon is an iffy time, coffee for some? Early beer? It’s nice that a local business can accommodate both. Congratulations to BRU Coffee and Beer House on their grand opening! I look forward to returning definitely as part of the morning and afternoon crowd to get my coffee fix and hopefully as a part of the night time crowd to check out their beer menu!BRU Coffee and Beer House
11965 Jasper Avenue