Café π: Coffee, Tranquility and One Hip Bathroom
Pi Café (π Café) is basically a mixture of coffee shop, workplace, gallery, chess venue and a place for tranquility. I've been there a few times, and it is a wonderful place to enjoy a café latte or tisane while you pull out your book, computer or schoolwork in a reasonably quiet environment.
The interior is painted deep red, which is a little intimidating at first, but once you choose your table, you are immediately entering a comfort zone. And once you have ordered you can be sure you'll stay for a while. They offer fair-trade coffee, which we agree is best for our spirits knowing that what we are drinking is not a product of exploitation. The menu is diverse, although not extensive. For lunch you can have one of their bagels, paninis, salads or one of a handful of vegetarian dishes on the menu.
In the restroom are posters advertising alternative cultural events in Montreal, some of which have not been advertised elsewhere and without doubt are fresh and innovative, which usually is the case for low-budget projects.
On the walls of the café, I've seen two photography exhibitions. I must say that an independent photographer who takes the time and patience to curate his work and find a place to exhibit, instead of just uploading it to Flickr, is what makes the experience a little more special. Café Pi, according to their website, does not charge the artist for the space.
So, if you find yourself some weekday before noon with time to kill, or you're craving something hot to drink, walk over to Pi Café to enjoy the coffee and art. Don't forget to check out the restroom posters forinteresting stuff that is happening in Montreal!