For the first of our “Faces of the Neighbourhood” series, we spoke to the co-owner—with his wife Bani Taghaboni—of Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar.
“I moved from Iran to Toronto six and a half years ago. Back there, I owned a company importing diagnostic scanners for cars. I got married to Bani and we moved here and we wanted to do something that was different from what we used to do. So we decided to open a coffee shop. It took us three years to learn about coffee, coffee culture, then find a place. We opened here three years ago, and live above the cafe. Before that, we lived at King and Portland, which is so busy on weekend with bars and clubs that we couldn’t ever get any sleep. Here, it is more quiet.
People who haven’t been around here very long may not know that this is the spot that burned down. So it’s all new as of a few years ago. We were the first tenant in here after the new build. Since then, the businesses around here always keep changing, but there’s a few that have stayed a while, like us, and I’ve gotten to know these neighbours very well—I’m friendly with Darryl Fine, who owns Bovine Sex Club and has also opened The Dime, as well as Abraham Shalehchi, who runs an antique shop just down the street. They both come in two or three times a week for a coffee.”
Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar
613 Queen St. W, Toronto