R Squared Cafe Toronto

R Squared Cafe

R Squared Cafe is already bustling in the home of what once was Quaff Cafe on West Queen West . The former cafe was purchased by new owners, totally made over, and rebranded under the name of the two co-owners, Reza and Reza.

R Squared Cafe Toronto

Less than a week after its opening, R Squared is filling its tables. Rows of laptops greet me as I walk into the space, as it seems customers are already making good use of the free WiFi. And the extra light is probably helping a fair bit also--that is, the illusion of extra light. Whereas Quaff may have had that dark and cozy cafe feel, R Squared is bright and airy, white with yellow accents and dustings of powder blue on the refinished bar. The general layout is the same, though there seems a fair bit more seating (I could be wrong) and interesting new hanging light fixtures drawing brightness closer to the eye.

R Squared Cafe Toronto

"We took over Quaff about five months ago," one of the Rezas (Reza Yazdjerdi) tells me as we take a seat by the back table. "We really liked the location, but we wanted to rebrand everything."

R Squared Cafe Toronto

That rebranding goes beyond just the name. The coffee now comes from Social Coffee & Co., which has prepared a custom blend for R Squared to use on its fancy new Nuova Simonelli. Many of the savoury eats are sourced from Café Jules Pâtisserie , as well as sweets from Desmond & Beatrice . Plus lots of sanding, painting, and refinishing.

"When I was a teenager," Reza says, "I just loved bookstores and coffee shops. I wanted to make this place something I would love as a teenager."

R Squared Cafe Toronto

Reza's teenage life was spent in Iran, where he lived until moving to Toronto two years ago to be with his wife. A commercial engineer by trade, he and Reza, a civil engineer, had trouble finding work after moving to Canada so they decided to pursue their passion for coffee instead. There are little touches of Iranian culture throughout R Squared, including a collection of fabulous vintage movie posters from 1950s Iran displayed on the wall, as well copies of Persepolis and Iran in my Eyes on the bookshelf.

R Squared Cafe Toronto

But like every good cafe, the focus here is on the coffee, which is available as pour over ($3.15) if you've got a second or two to spare. I opt for a straight-up Americano ($2.79), though, and Matt, who placed fifth in the Canadian Regional Barista Championships , prepares me a cup. You can tell when a shot has been expertly pulled, and my Americano certainly has that great taste; zero acidity, and a nice, rich flavour. Change is good, it seems.

R Squared Cafe Toronto

R Squared Cafe Toronto

R Squared is open during the week 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photos by Jesse Milns


R Squared Cafe

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