The Sunday Magazine

A café table of one's own

Gabriel Dancause decided to open a coffee shop that welcomes freelance knowledge workers — “digital nomads” in the “gig economy.” David Gutnick’s documentary is called “The Anti-Office.”
This Montreal coffee shop welcomes freelance knowledge workers — “digital nomads” of the gig economy. (Claire Loewen)

For years, Gabriel Dancause, a 36-year-old freelance computer programmer, made a pretty good living without changing out of his pajamas.

He'd get up in the morning, make himself coffee, grab his laptop and work on the couch.

When that got too lonely, he'd get dressed early and head out in tje hopes of snagging a prime seat in the local coffee shop — next to the plugs. 

Gabriel Dancause, co-owner of GAB - a cafe he helped open for freelancers like himself. (David Gutnick/CBC)
But there came a point when he'd had enough of frustrated baristas giving him the evil eye. 

And so, along with a fellow freelancer, he rented an empty storefront on Montreal's Saint-Laurent Boulevard, and opened a cafe designed specifically for workers in the "gig economy."

The idea is to buy the time, not necessarily the coffee. And to find community in a solitary pursuit. 

GAB has individual seats, closed working cabins and a big table for team projects. (GAB )
For a couple of bucks an hour, you get a chair, a table top, a plug and the internet. Or you can become a more serious member with a subscription of eight, twenty or unlimited hours.

You're free to bring your own food and coffee or buy them on site. 

A homey home base for Digital Nomads.

Click 'listen above to hear David Gutnick's documentary "The Anti-Office."


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