Sunworks owners realize café dream
A café has been on Paul Harris and Terry Warke’s to-do list for 18 years.
A week and a half ago, the owners of Sunworks Home & Garden were able to check it off.
The Coconut Room opened on the second floor of their 4924 50th St. store on Feb. 23. It’s currently serving food on weekends, but will extend its operations to include weekday service this spring, said Harris.
“Certainly before the Ross Street patio opens, we’ll have it.”
Among The Coconut Room’s early offerings have been eggs Florentine in a beef cup, farmer sausage and potato stew, vegetarian spring chili, ginger edamame and pea salad, spinach and feta scones, and Maui-roasted coffee.
“We want to make sure we have really healthy and hearty food,” said Harris, adding that the café will favour low-fat, high-protein items, and lots of vegetables.
Gluten-free options are planned for the menu, he said.
Everything will be prepared on site, said Harris, who hopes customers will sit and enjoy their meals there, rather than eating them elsewhere.
That would reflect his and Warke’s vision of The Coconut Room as a place to relax and spend time with others.
“We’ll have readings up here, and poetry and music, and that kind of thing,” said Harris.
“We will get a liquor licence eventually. We’ll serve wine in the evenings and Fridays.”
But, he added, The Coconut Room will not stay open late.
“We’re not interested in late night at all. We’re sort of an after-work crowd.”
There’s currently seating for about 25 people at the café, with this expected to increase to around 50. Additional seating will be set up for special events, like public readings.
Harris said he and Warke envisioned a café when they opened Sunworks 18 years ago. They felt it would further their goal of “supporting culture and quality of life.”
“The culinary arts are all part of that. It’s really important that people spend time being with each other.”
Meanwhile, the Harris-Warke Gallery in Sunworks is moving to the second floor from the first, with more art-themed products to be displayed there as well.
Harris said they also want to eventually develop a coffee bar near the front of the store.