The Demetres dessert mini-chain, started on the Danforth in 1989, has long been known for its eclectic aesthetic (and the best banana split in town). After Demetres’s owners hired minimalism-inclined Luis Coderque at Bruce Mau to overhaul its graphic image, long-time fans of the chain’s wacky typefaces and intense upholstery choices might have been concerned. But one look at +tongtong’s masterfully pretty approach to designing the new Downtown Markham location will set their idiosyncrasyloving hearts at ease.
Bold pastel wall cut-outs reminiscent of a Pac-man dream directed by Luis Buñuel dominate – playfully abstract, though the back one looks a bit like a bunny. They’re backed by a floral wallpaper that brings to mind Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam’s brilliant work for the Rotterdam Markthal, from a photo taken by Demetres’s HQ team, edited and produced locally by Rollout.
The latest three locations of the 13-shop business have all made strong statements, marking a design renaissance for the chain.
“We’ve been around for 29 years,” says Demetres founder and president Gary Theodore, who named the business for his ice cream–making great-grandfather. “Since we’re exclusively desserts and coffee, and not liquor or wine, we wanted something magical, where people could forget the rigours of daily life, work or school.” Mission accomplished. TONGTONG.CO; DEMETRES.COM