Created as an artistic photo blog–with the secret goal of seducing another blogger–the adbeus project has recently evolved into a popular mobile app serving Montreal’s coffee scene. Free on both Android and iOS stores, and easy to use, adbeus’ new app shows you the independent cafés nearest your location, the best way to get there, brewing and Wi-Fi information, plus a photo of the latte you might drink.
Those pictures, always shot with a mobile phone from above, have became the visual signature of adbeus. Sleiman-Tanios Chahwan, who created adbeus.com in 2010, explains: “It all started up with one photo and, as I like coffee, it quickly grew into a collection of photos from many cafés in popular neighborhoods of Montreal. At one point, I received a very aggressive email from someone who was looking for info about the places where the photos had been taken. Aside from the tone, it made me realize I might as well turn the project into a real guide that would serve the city’s independent coffee scene.”
Late last year, as the guide was nearing a hundred cafés, the founders of Samsao, a mobile app development firm, contacted Chahwan. “They had the tools to take adbeus.com to the mobile devices, and shared my idea that it had to be a community-driven app,” says Sleiman. “The first version of the app is quite simple, but we hope to add new features to share information and comments.”
With more than 85 Montreal cafés, the app has quickly caught up in the city’s coffee crowd. “Although not all ‘third wave’, the cafés in the guide are all independent places where we feel there are good drinks and a good vibe,” explains Chahwan. “And every good specialty coffee bar in Montreal is in there.”
But what about the romance? “It’s true I did everything to get the attention of Laure (Juilliard), who was writing a blog on the city's best brunch places. I thought coffee would be a good complement and it turned out to be a great love story, although we’re not together anymore…”.
Splitting his time between Montreal and New York–he is working in web development–Sleiman feels adbeus will always be a Montreal project. “We might add other places from different town, but it will always be with the perspective of a Montrealer. This is my favorite city in the whole world!”