Gabriel Malenfant and Véronique Orban's meticulously designed Mile End café Pastel Rita has expanded to Westmount, and it places their coffee and pastry savvy inside the new boutique for the French women’s fashion brand ba&sh.
The boutique's location on the western side of the city is one of two planned standalone stores for the fashion brand—the other one being in Toronto—and sits among many other upscale brands with boutiques in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city.
The café is a pared down version of the smash hit café in Mile End, sticking to coffee and pastries for customers to enjoy as they lounge on a long, black plushy couch.
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ba&sh was founded by Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief in Paris in 2003, and the brand focuses on comfy, feminine clothing with ready-to-wear items alongside bags, accessories and footwear. A report from Retail Insider describes the price-point as "in the ‘contemporary’ range with dresses generally in the $400-$1,000 range, blouses costing in excess of $300, bags priced over $500, and shoes priced into the hundreds of dollars depending on style."
It's not the first time local cafés have been teaming up with big brands—Myriade opened up a small café in the lower level of Club Monaco's Saint-Catherine Street West location downtown back in 2014, and the fine dining restaurant took on management of the Ssense Café in 2018.