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At Demetres, Cut-Outs and Botanical Wallpaper Meet Dessert

Demetres Tongtong design

This exuberant tongtong-designed dessert shop serves the best banana split in town

By Bert Archer
Photography by Arash Moallemi

The Demetres dessert minichain, started on the Danforth in 1989, has long been known for its eclectic aesthetic (and the best banana split in town). After hiring Luis Coderque at Bruce Mau to overhaul their graphic image, long-time fans of the wacky typefaces and intense upholstery choices might have been concerned. But one look at tongtong’s masterfully pretty approach at the new Downtown Markham location will set their idiosyncratic hearts at ease.

Demetres Tongtong design

Bold pastel wall cut-outs – playfully abstract, though the back one looks a bit like a bunny – are reminiscent of a Pac-Man dream directed by Luis Buñuel dominate. They’re backed by a floral wallpaper reminiscent of Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam’s brilliant work for the Rotterdam Markthal, from a photo taken by Demetres’ HQ team, edited and produced locally by Rollout.

Demetres Tongtong design

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 rigors of daily life, work or school.”

Mission accomplished.

Originally featured in our Designer of the Year 2019 issue as Demetres.

Categories: Eat Here

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