Cowdog: Vancouver coffee pop-up opening permanent cafe shop

Cowdog: Vancouver coffee pop-up opening permanent cafe shop

Cowdog: Vancouver coffee pop-up opening permanent cafe shop

“So this may have been the worst business decision of our lives…or it could be the best.”

There’s been a line out the door and down the block for the past several weekend mornings outside Vancouver wine bar Dear Gus, but it wasn’t early risers nabbing pours of cab sauv. 

Coffee pop-up Cowdog has been using the Mount Pleasant restaurant for its space for several months, but the time has come for its founders to launch their own café space.

Cowdog co-owner Joe Lee has been chronicling the journey to find a permanent home for the coffee biz on social media on both his personal and the brand’s accounts. Lee has shared the struggles he and other small business owners face opening in Vancouver, from permitting to finding suitable retail space.

In mid-June, V.I.A. spied a business permit in the City’s database issued for Cowdog for a café space on Oak Street. 

This week, Lee shared the news that Cowdog was ready to debut its new space, and the café’s website and socials now show the coffee shop is opening at 3720 Oak St. Cowdog is replacing Aroom Café at the location, and will soft open on Saturday, July 6.

In his TikTok videos, Lee shared that Cowdog happens to be moving into a space that had been home to several café concepts which opened and closed in relatively quick succession. 

“So this may have been the worst business decision of our lives…or it could be the best,” Lee says in a recent video. 

Lee adds that other small business owners cautioned Cowdog against taking the spot because of the quick turnover. Additionally, Lee says the location they wound up taking isn’t as central as they’d envisioned. 

That said, Lee cites all the “love and support” from customers for Cowdog’s pop-ups as one reason why the move is hopeful. “Nobody markets like we market,” Lee points out.

Cowdog certainly bucks convention. The wildly popular coffee biz is known not just for its meticulously made beverages but also for its no tipping policy (balanced by a living wage for its employees) and its pricing, specifically that they do not impose an additional charge for customers who wish to have non-dairy milk. 

The Cowdog soft open will run Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the new space then resume on Tuesday through Thursday next week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Unfortunately, as Cowdog does not have its espresso machine yet, the menu will be limited to pour over coffee, batch brewed coffee, cold brewed coffee, and iced tea beverages. There will be some small bites available as well. Updates will be shared to Cowdog’s Instagram: @cowdog.coffee.

One of Cowdog’s cherished menu items, the matcha drinks, will soon have its own home, however. Recently, Lee shared online that they’ve broken out the products as Dew Matcha Bar and will also open a location for the concept soon.


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