The Waterfront Vancouver’s first and only coffee shop has opened, providing an attraction to draw more people to the area during the earlier hours of the day.
Kafiex Gastro Café, at the RiverWest building at 700 Waterfront Way, is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and its hours will eventually extend to 9 p.m. It offers a variety of eats for a cafe: culturally diverse brunch options, including chilaquiles and Croque Monsieur, baked goods, pizzas, cheese boards, pastries and desserts with many vegan options.
In addition, Kafiex (pronounced Coffee-X) offers cocktails, and the owners, Matthew and Seidy Selivanow, specialize in its coffee-based alcoholic drinks.
Floor-to-ceiling windows cover two sides of the space that look southeast to the Columbia River and the Interstate 5 Bridge. The natural light coming into the cafe brightens a large, colorful mural that depicts a coffee farm on a mountainside in the style of Monet or Van Gogh, Matthew Selivanow said.
Chris Jajou, 32, stopped by Kafiex’s Waterfront cafe on Thursday morning and said, “I’m going to make this place my home base.”
As someone who commutes from Ridgefield, Jajou said that the cafe is his ideal spot to work in a cafe setting in Vancouver.
“It’s the most perfect view in the city,” he said.
“Every single seat in the house has a river view,” said Seidy Selivanow, who mentioned that the coffee shop is meant for all ages, including kids, which isn’t a common offering at any place at the Waterfront.
Kafiex roasts its coffee beans at its first location, at 720 Esther St., near the Vancouver Farmers Market. Since it’s so close to the market, the Selivanows were able to make friends with some of the farmers and food suppliers, which led them to use local ingredients in many of the menu items at the new location.
Matthew Selivanow said that the chefs make almost every component, including sauces, in-house and from scratch.
The mural on the western wall was painted by Dallas-based muralist Nikki Cade, who visited in December to create the piece, called “Arabica.”
The location is about 1,850 square feet, much of which is behind an 81-foot-long counter made of burl oak and black resin. A line-up of five siphon-style coffee brewers are lined along the counter, along with an espresso machine.
Outside the coffee shop, about nine tables are set up behind planter boxes.
The bar serves no tequila, but it specializes in mezcal drinks, and many of the cocktails are inspired by Mexican culture — Seidy Selivanow was born and raised in Mexico and used her culture as inspiration for both coffee shops.
Matthew and Seidy Selivanow began roasting coffee out of his garage in Battle Ground four years ago, and they opened the first Kafiex in 2018. Ever since then, the couple planned to open a Waterfront location, and they announced their lease in November.
“It was serendipitous that we ended up here,” Matthew Selivanow said.
This article was corrected to accurately state the size of the cafe.