If you like Squirrel Hill's 61C Cafe, you'll surely enjoy Regent Square's new 61B Cafe. It's got the same owners, the same menu and some agreeable new wrinkles.
Gary Kaboly and Kate Knorr opened the B in September, nearly a year after they were first approached by the owners of the old Katerbean coffeehouse, who own the prominent building on South Braddock Avenue but wanted out of the coffee business. For the first time since Katerbean opened, in the '90s, Regent Square went without a coffeehouse while workers totally remodeled the interior, removing Katerbean's distinctive seating "platform" and giving the place its first sidewalk entry in decades. (Katerbean customers entered through a side hall.) The high, pressed-tin ceiling remains.
With its glass cookie jars, 19 small tables and identical barista hardware, the B nearly twins its crosstown cousin named for a bus line. It boasts the same extensive loose-tea menu; hand-squeezed juices; custom smoothies; house-made cookies, scones and muffins; and a dessert case.
One difference: The facade's new half-garage doors with their sidewalk-service window.
The B opens and closes earlier than the C, which serves more student customers, says Kaboly. Still, Braddock Avenue types seem happy to be coffeehoused again. "They all complimented us," says Kaboly (who's also known as Pittsburgh Filmmakers' longtime director of exhibitions). "The people who live in Regent Square are very proud of their neighborhood."