(DailyVantage.com) – Toronto’s ‘anti-capitalist’ cafe, The Anarchist, has closed after only a year in operation.
The self-described anti-colonial radical community space on “stolen land” is shutting down at the end of the month.
The cafe’s proprietor created a “pay what you can” coffee option. The goal was not to appear like they were in it for the money. But, without revenue, the business became “unsustainable”— a not-so-radical economic concept.
Internet users made fun of the lefty cafe The Anarchist, which debuted in March 2022, for its exorbitant costs on “specialty” coffee and other items (including “radical” art, apparel, literature, totes, jewelry, and stickers.)
One Twitter user wrote that Marx and Engels would have enjoyed seeing $4 coffee in their name.
Gabriel Sims-Fewer, the owner, claimed he wished to implement a democratic system based on group agreement so that all employees could have an equal voice in company affairs.
Sims-Fewer stated that at first, all he had to pay for was what he wanted to sell, internet, and utilities. Even so, that was far more cash than he had on hand, but thanks to credit cards, he was “able to get things moving in the right direction.”
If downward was the direction he wanted to move in, mission accomplished.
Cafes in capitalist America and worldwide have long been a favorite counterculture milieu for brainy lefties. But The Anarchist took it to a whole new level. Books like Off with their Heads: An Antifascist Coloring Book for Adults of All Ages, available at the café, may have dissuaded some customers attracted by the pay-what-you-can model.
What Sims-Fewer considered utopian ideals may have been irritating or even “triggering” to some people.
In February, Sims-Fewer asked for support in maintaining the store’s operations via social media. His pitch said he aimed to provide food, beverages, and a welcome space to anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay. That model, he said, is as stressful and financially demanding as it is satisfying.
Unfortunately, his experiment was cut short by the “misanthropy of capitalism,” as he put it—or, in other words, reality.
Copyright 2023, DailyVantage.com