Café les malins


The café-boutique Les Malins, located on Mount Royal Avenue in Montreal, is a place for both kids and adults.

First a children’s publishing house intent on creating the next generation of avid readers, its owners wanted to create a café-boutique where parents and children could linger for hours.

In order to accommodate all the ages, the café offers two very distinct spaces. The café area, which coexists with the boutique on the first floor, offers a welcoming ‘home-like’ setting for parents and seating for up to 50 people. The space being limited, the designers have shown great ingenuity to maximize its use. For example, a tiered seating area placed above the basement opening provides a fun experience and an original place to have coffee. At the back of the café, a lounge area is designed for relaxation and reading, thanks to its fireplace and the choice of furniture.

The first floor is characterized by its casual look, alternating between light-coloured and weathered woods. The cozy atmosphere is provided by the use of soft shades, such as moss green or light blue, to contrast with the brick wall. Wicker pendant lamps are scattered around and add a natural touch. Thanks to the many book posters on the walls, the visitor is introduced to the publisher’s work.

For their part, children have their own refuge to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite books. Using a slide, the budding reader arrives in a basement where he or she can read in one of the sofas, in the suspended hammocks, or just have fun with friends. The idea being to design a playful place to encourage reading, two filled bookcases are made available to the children.

Outside, façade work has been done to bring a youthful and fun aspect.

Besides being painted blue, the façade now has large sliding doors to open the café to Mont-Royal Avenue, which becomes pedestrianized and animated in summer. A small display case is installed above the main entrance to showcase the publishing house’s new releases.