An anti-capitalist “‘pay what you can’” cafe in Toronto, Canada is closing after just over one year in business.
The Anarchist opened in March 2022 but a statement on its website revealed its door will be closing on 30 May 2023 due to a “lack of generational wealth”.
The cafe’s website described the coffee industry as a “harbinger of gentrification around the globe” and aimed to serve people “delicious ‘third wave’ coffee drinks” while also “looking for ways to undermine the plethora of toxic, oppressive, exclusive parts of the standard formula”.
These ways appeared to include the “pay what you can” business model for a 12-ounce drip coffee, though other menu items had a charge.
The Anarchist’s owner, Gabriel, made the announcement of its closure, saying the project had been an “amazing experience” that had helped spark debate and raise “the blood pressure of Conservatives”.
He wrote: “It's been an amazing experience, connecting with so many great community members, sparking desperately needed debate, raising the blood pressure of Conservatives (that includes you, ‘anarcho-capitalists’ and ‘Libertarians’), fulfilling the dream of most service workers by not having to tolerate the presence of professional class-traitors (pigs and military), and experimenting with living and working in ways that don't enthusiastically embrace the pure misanthropy of Capitalism.”
The owner went on to claim that it was due to a lack of investment from generational wealth and seed capital that led him to have to close the cafe.
The statement continued: “Unfortunately, the lack of generational wealth/seed capital from ethically bankrupt sources left me unable to weather the quiet winter season, or to grow in the ways needed to be sustainable longer-term.”
It was signed off: “Fuck the rich. Fuck the police. Fuck the state. Fuck the colonial death camp we call ‘Canada’.”
On the business' Instagram, the owner shared a screenshot of some of the abuse they had received over email. However, others shared their sadness at the space closing.